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Geopolitics

Spain's Top Daily Publishes False Photos Of "Hugo Chavez" Surgery

CLARIN(ARGENTINA),EL NACIONAL(VENEZUELA) EL PAIS (Spain)

Worldcrunch

MADRID - Spain's most widely circulated newspaper El País was forced Thursday to retract a story and image it had claimed showed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez undergoing surgery.

With information scant on the Venezuelan President, who is in Cuba for cancer treatment, the front-page story was titled "The Secret of Chavez's Illness," and featured an image of an oval-faced man with a tube in his mouth.

According to Argentinian daily Clarin, the image is a screen-grab from a 2008 YouTube video showing a surgery procedure of an acromegalic patient in 2008, who is not Chávez. If you pause the video (see below) at 2:34, you obtain the same image published by El País. Thirty minutes after a Twitter user from Barcelona found the video, the complete article and picture disappeared from the online version of El País.

El Pais, considered by many to be Spain's paper of record, apologized to its readers in an online note, and said it was attempting to collect copies of the first edition of Thursday's paper from newsstands, the BBC reported from Madrid. The paper said it has opened an internal investigation, noting that it had published the story already with a disclaimer that the image came from a news agency and could not be independently verified.

Chavez was reelected in October, but his January 10 inauguration ceremony was indefinitely postponed because of his illness.

Supporters of the Venezuelan president lashed out at the Madrid daily. Venezuelan Minister of Communications and Information Ernesto Villegas, sent a tweet saying, “Chávez’s intubated picture posted as headline news on the venerated diary of El País is as grotesque as it is false,” Caracas daily El Nacional reported.

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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