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 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.
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.