Monday, 21 September 2009

The Guardian Retracts False Claims that Hugo Chavez is a "Pariah"

The Guardian newspaper has had to retract false claims made by Ian Black, the Middle East Editor, which labelled Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez a “contender for the ‘pariah’ status Gaddafi held for so long."

Ian Black made his claim, which is without any basis, in an article titled Shadow of Megrahi hangs over Libya’s mass celebration of Gaddafi’s 40 years on 31 August 2009.

Following calls by Samuel Moncada, the Venezuelan Ambassador in London, for a retraction, Siobhain Butterworth the Guardian Reader’s Editor, has explained that the newspaper has “removed the sentence from the web article and added a footnote documenting the change.”

This is the second time that a British publication retracts from previous accounts in relation to Venezuela. Last month The Economist retracted from an inaccurate statement about alleged participation of Venezuelan troops in military activities in Bolivia.

Samuel Moncada said: “I am pleased that The Guardian has retraced its false claim that President Chavez is a pariah. Unfortunately there is too much inaccuracy and distortion in the British media about developments in the Venezuela. There will be ongoing efforts to counter these misrepresentations. Whatever views are held on the changes underway in Venezuela today, these should be reported accurately and honestly to allow the readers to make up their own mind"

Venezuelan Embassy Press Office 18 September 2009

Notes to Editors: 
1) The correction can be seen at 
2) The correction by The Economist can be found at
3) For more details, please contact Mr Alvaro Sanchez at 0207-584-4206

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