CARACAS, Thursday January 24, 2013 | Update

Venezuelan Embassy in Madrid complains about smear campaign against Chávez

The diplomatic mission rebutted the "campaign" launched by daily newspaper El País against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez

Chávez remains in Cuba, convalescent after his cancer (Handout photo)
Thursday January 24, 2013  01:20 PM
Venezuela's Embassy in Madrid lambasted on Thursday a presumed campaign launched by daily newspaper El País against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, following the release of the photo of a man put on tubes, mistakenly identified as the Venezuelan leader.

The "Venezuelan embassy in Spain denounces the campaign by daily newspaper El País," the diplomatic mission stated in a communiqué. In addition, "rebuts the campaign undertaken by the daily newspaper against President Hugo Chávez and the Venezuelan people and democracy," AFP quoted.

The release "of the photo of a patient on tubes, pretending to show President Chávez and selling it as an ‘exclusive image' unveils the malice and lack of ethics in the coverage of El País concerning Venezuela," the note added.

El País had to apologize on Thursday for making a front page both in its printed and electronic versions of the photo presumably of President Chávez.

"A mere line of apology to its readers cannot remedy whatever reveals the way of publishing such material," the communiqué wrapped up.
Ailing healthcare system seeking a cure

The news marked an ominous beginning, health-wise, of the year 2015: the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit at Hospital Clínico Universitario, one of the country's largest teaching hospitals, was to close completely on January 5 due to lack of medicines and surgical supplies. All patients who were waiting to be operated on were sent home. More than 10 patients waiting for surgery reportedly died there from lack of basic medical supplies in the two months prior to the closure.

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