"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has stated that he would like to see some of his county's social programs or missions applied to South Bronx (New York).
"During a meeting with local community organizations, President Chavez Frias has entrusted Petroleosde Venezuela (PDVSA), US subsidiary, Citgo president, Felix Rodriguez with drawing up a study to provide cheap heating oil to neighborhood houses. If implemented, it would lower winter bills for local residents in (sic) 30%.
"The idea arose during a meeting between President Chavez Frias and people assembled in the Latino Pastoral Action Center where he informed them about how the social programs or "missions" work in his country.
"VTV State Television showed the full visit to viewers back at home in Venezuela.
The President says he is ready to collaborate in cooperative or co-administration ventures in the New York barrio, stating that the Bronx could become a kind of laboratory.
"Rodriguez has been asked to make a study on the possibility of handing out credits to micro-enterprises in the barrio and projects such as cleaning up the Bronx River.
"Local leaders have been invited to visit Venezuela, see things for themselves and do some networking. US Congressman Jose Serrano, who helped organize the visit, comments that the Venezuelan President is more democratic than "some people here in the USA."
"The two men managed to don baseball gloves and throw ball for a couple of minutes. Maybe President Bush could engage in some baseball diplomacy."