Sorry Miami, That's Not Really Hugo Chavez On a Breathing Machine
|El Pais even splashed the photo on its early editions this morning.|
Sorry, anti-Chavistas. It's a fake.
It's easy to see why the pic gained currency -- there's a definite resemblance to Chavez in the photo. But more importantly, the Venezuelan government has been tight-lipped about the Bolivarian strongman's condition since he returned to Cuba in December for more cancer treatments.
The fact that he was unable to travel back to Caracas for his scheduled Jan. 11 inauguration could only mean he was in dire condition. Enter the photo:
But sometime late last night -- as the pic was exploding across the web -- the paper realized it had been duped.
That isn't Chavez, it's just some random bald fellow. The paper scrambled to change its front page for later editions and ran this correction, via the Atlantic Wire:
El Pais apologizes to its readers for the damage caused. The newspaper has opened an investigation to determine the circumstances of what happened and the errors that were committed in the verification of the photo.Truth is, some of the blame lies with Chavez's own administration: When you're so tight-lipped about the president's obviously serious health condition, these kinds of frauds are bound to fill the information void.
One Chavez ally, Bolivian President Evo Morales, claims Chavez is back on the upswing, telling reporters on Tuesday that his Venezuelan counterpart "is receiving physiotherapy to return to his country."
In the meantime, as always, be wary of what you see on the Web.
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