ESPACIO PUBLICITARIO
CARACAS, Thursday January 24, 2013 | Update
 
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CHÁVEZ'S HEALTH | Communication Minister terms it "grotesque"

Fake photo of President Chávez sparks controversy

The picture was removed from the website of Spanish newspaper El País, and printing and distribution stopped

The content remained for half an hour on the website (Photo: El País)
EL UNIVERSAL
Thursday January 24, 2013  07:56 AM
The photo, both posted on the website and printed out, presumably of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez put on tubes and under medical procedures, was blasted by Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information Ernesto Villegas, on behalf of his government.

The picture, fingered by Villegas on his Twitter account, turned out to be fake and removed both from the website of Spanish daily newspaper El País, whereas  its printing and release came to a halt.

"Both grotesque and fake is the photo of ‘Chávez on tubes' published today on the front page by the venerable daily El País of Spain," Villegas twitted.

The version of El País

The Spanish newspaper claimed to have removed "early morning from its website a photo showing a man on tubes on a hospital bed, which photo was supplied by a news agency (Gtres Online) to the newspaper affirming that it referred to Hugo Chávez, the President of Venezuela."

"The photo remained on the website of the newspaper approximately for half an hour," they explained.

According to the text next to the photo, El País contended that it had been unable to verify on its own how, where or when the picture was taken.

"After corroborating that the provided image was not that of Chávez, El País stopped as well the distribution of its printout and sent instead a new edition to outlets," they specified.
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Is protest over?

That political protest in Venezuela has lost momentum seems pretty obvious: people are no longer building barricades to block off streets near Plaza Francia in Altamira (eastern Caracas), an anti-government stronghold; no new images have been shown of brave and dashing protesters with bandanna-covered faces clashing with the National Guard in San Cristóbal, in the western state of Táchira; and those who dreamed of a horde of "Gochos" (Tachirans) descending  in an avalanche to stir up revolt in Caracas have been left with no option but to wake up to reality.

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