Leaders from four Western Alaska villages have rejected an offer of free heating oil from a Venezuelan- owned company because that nation's president this month called President Bush "a devil" and made other inflammatory comments about the United States.
"Despite the critical need for fuel in our region, the Unangan (Aleut) people are Americans first, and we cannot support the political agenda attached to this donation," read a statement from Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association released late Thursday.
From my conversations with folks in this region - not extensive, mind you - I think this principled stand has not spread from the Aleutians.
Principles are great and I respect people who manage to take principled stands but I'm not sure this is the wisest step. Yes, the fuel may be tainted by its source but heat is necessary and fuel is expensive. Sometimes self-preservation needs to top all other considerations.