24 January 2013, the conservative and populist Spanish Mainstream Newspaper “El País” was caught red-handed when it attempted to publish its Thursday,24 January 2013 issue with the headline “The Secret Health of Chavez“ together with a photo of, what was supposed to be the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, at hospital with respirator tubes in his mouth. The image and the story were as “fake” as much of the propaganda that is regularly being published by El País. El País was caught re-handed, had to recall the entire edition from distribution, and publish an apology.
The photo, which had been provided with a watermark as if it was classified, was accompanied by the caption ” President Chavez during medical treatment in Cuba”.
Also the El País website carried a headline story, claiming that the health of Hugo Chavez had been shrouded in “opacity” since Chavez began his medical treatment in Havana on 10 December 2012.
El País is known for its unequivocal support of the Venezuelan right wing coup d´ etat in 2002, for supporting multinational corporations in Latin America, and for repeated and malign attempt to discredit the Venezuelan government and the Bolivarian Revolution.
It is neither unlikely nor unthinkable that El País was taking part in a plan to destabilize the Venezuelan government, designed to topple the government by seeding doubts within the population, and by thus socially engineering mass protests in Venezuela.
This time however, El País had brought itself into trouble. The fraud was discovered before the print edition of the newspapers had reached the shops.
El País had to withdraw the story from its website, publish an apology, recall the entire print edition, which had already been distributed to the news agents, and replace it with another, revised edition.
The Venezuelan Minister of Communication, Ernesto Villagas, described the fake photo as ”as grotesque as it is false”, asking whether “El Pais would be so kind to publish a similar photo of one of the European leaders or of the director of El País”.
Dr. Christof Lehmann, Founder and Chief Editor for the nsnbc, is also one of the frequent contributors for The 4th Media.