ANCHORAGE, ALASKA Patriotism has trumped practicality in some of the coldest towns in America.
The village of Nelson Lagoon turned down free heating oil from Venezuela, claiming it wouldn't be right to accept charity from the man who called President Bush "the devil."
"As a citizen of this country, you can have your own opinion of our president and our country. But I don't want a foreigner coming in here and bashing us," said Justine Gunderson, administrator for the tribal council in the Aleut village of Nelson Lagoon. "Even thought we're in economically dire straits, it was the right choice to make."
About 150 native villages in Alaska have accepted money for heating oil from Citgo. The oil company does not operate in Alaska, so instead of sending oil, it is donating about $5.3 million to native nonprofit organizations to buy 100 gallons this winter for each of more than 12,000 households.