BX set to get $3M in grants from Venezuela

THE BRONX - Bronx activists are celebrating $3 million in grants the borough will get for community building and environmental preservation projects, but some object to where the money is coming from.Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is sending Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez to the Bronx to sign the grant agreements. Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano has been credited with working with Chavez on the project.Supporters of the grants say Venezuela's dedication to "the poorest congressional district in the U.S." isn't something new. Chavez was previously in the Bronx to donate home heating oil for low-income residents. They say Venezuela has turned foreign policy upside down by donating money to poor communities throughout Latin America.Critics of Chavez point to his long-standing allegiance to Cuba's Fidel Castro and his frequent criticism of President Bush. Last year, Venezuela's president referred to President Bush as "the devil."

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