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News: Media Watch

Venezuelan Government Rejects Report From Spanish Daily ABC

Punto Fijo, February 11th, 2013 ( – Just weeks after Spanish newspaper El País published a fake photo of Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan authorities responded to another report, this time by Spanish daily ABC, which claims that the Venezuelan president will not recover.

“This so-called information from ABC is about as true as the fake photo in El País,” said Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas via Twitter on Sunday.

ABC published a report over the weekend claiming that Hugo Chavez’s doctors in Havana had affirmed that he would not recover, and will not be able to return to the presidency.

According to the Spanish daily, Chavez has completely lost his voice as a result of the medical treatment he has received, and is “very depressed” due to the fact that he cannot speak or get out of his bed.

The report also claims that Chavez’s cancer is terminal, that the president is suffering the symptoms of an advancing cancer that has metastasized, and that the announcements by the Venezuelan government have not been truthful about the deterioration of his condition.

Chavez’s family has already been notified, the report says, and the Venezuelan government will make the announcement in the coming days that Chavez cannot return.

Government officials, however, have denied ABC’s claims and have given a completely different version of Chavez’s condition.

Vice President Nicolás Maduro said on Saturday that he expected Chavez to be back in Caracas “before too long” and on Sunday reported that Chavez was in good spirits.

“What is never missing is the president’s good spirit, his will to be with us, his huge will to live, his smile, the light in his eyes, and his guiding message,” said Maduro during a government event.

Just last month the Spanish newspaper El País published a photo of a man they claimed to be Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of his mouth.

The photo turned out to be fake, taken from a 2008 YouTube video about medical practices with a man who vaguely resembled Chavez given the poor quality and angle of the photo.

The Venezuelan government vowed to sue the Spanish newspaper, and also criticized other Spanish media outlets like ABC for carrying out what they called a “media war” against Venezuela.

Last month, Maduro criticized media outlets for reprinting and repeating what he called “the trashy news articles” written by ABC.

ABC has responded in recent weeks claiming that their reports are always truthful and have been subsequently confirmed by the facts.

However, over a month ago ABC claimed that Chavez was in a coma, and would soon be disconnected from the life support that was keeping him alive. The most likely result would be death “at any moment”, said the report.

That report was published on January 2nd, yet ABC’s subsequent reports have said nothing more about the supposed life support, or the likely death that they assured at the time.

Published on Feb 11th 2013 at 5.56pm