Ex-congressman Joe Kennedy praises Hugo Chavez's charity 06 Mar 2013 Former congressman Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) is mourning the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez today, praising Chavez as someone who made a difference for poor people. Kennedy told the AP that Chavez helped 2 million Americans through a heating assistance program that the two men worked on together through Kennedy’s Citizen's Energy charity. Kennedy said Chavez donated 200 million gallons of heating oil over eight years. Kennedy joins Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) among the few American politicians [but millions of people all over the world] to praise Chavez after his death Tuesday.