Mr. Speaker, it is abundantly clear that the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is neither a friend of democracy nor a friend of the United States. Mr. Chavez has consistently rattled the anti-United States sabers. He made best friends with Fidel Castro and Cindy Sheehan, and he supported radical revolutionaries in Latin and South American countries.

Mr. Chavez has also radically altered his own country's political institutions, creating a disgusting and disgraceful dictatorship that does not deserve our support.

Why is it then, Mr. Speaker, that the United States gives Mr. Chavez's government millions in direct aid each year? As our friend and Congressman, LOUIE GOHMERT says, ``Why do we pay them to hate us?''

Mr. Speaker, it is absolute hypocrisy to fund this corrupt communist dictator on Monday and then complain about his antidemocratic actions on Tuesday.

Do we give money to Venezuela because we need them as a source for crude oil? If so, this is another reason we should become energy self-sufficient and not depend on Third World dictatorships for oil.

Mr. Speaker, this ought not to be.