Fmr. Rep. Joe Kennedy II mourns Chavez

Former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, nephew of Sen. Edward Kennedy, speaks during a memorial service for the late senator at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library on August 28, 2009 in Boston.
STAN HONDA / AFP / Getty Images

Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II is mourning the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, saying he cared deeply about the poor.

Kennedy, who heads the heating assistance charity Citizens Energy, said Tuesday nearly two million people in the United States have received donated heating oil thanks to Chavez.

Citizens Energy distributes oil to lower income families in 25 states and Washington, D.C. It offers 100 gallons of free oil per family. A Kennedy spokesman said Chavez and the Venezuelan people have donated about 200 million gallons of heating oil over eight years.

Kennedy said Chavez cared about the poor when "some of the wealthiest people on our planet have more money than they can ever reasonably expect to spend."

Kennedy, a son of Robert F. Kennedy and a nephew of President John F. Kennedy, said his prayers go to Chavez's family and Venezuela.