CARACAS, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's government on Wednesday pledged 5 million U.S. dollars to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christie and Houston, two towns in the U.S. state of Texas.
The aid will be delivered through Venezuelan-owned Citgo, which operates refineries and gas stations in the United States, and has its U.S. headquarters in Houston's Energy Corridor.
"We are planning to earmark a percentage of the sales of our production of Citgo gasoline to spend on housing construction ... and in an initial phase on the refugees from the floods," Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza said.
Despite political tensions with Washington, which opposes Venezula's ruling socialist party and the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela wants to reach out to U.S. citizens suffering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the North American country, said the official.
This is not the first time Venezuela has come to the aid of the needy in the U.S. For years, it has supplied low-income U.S. families with free fuel to heat their homes in winter.
The Citgo-Venezuela Heating Oil Program, launched in 2005 by Venezuela's late former President Hugo Chavez, has helped more than 1.7 million U.S. residents across 25 states.
Harvey has dumped record amounts of rain on communities in Texas, damaging tens of thousands of homes.