Rory Carroll: Chavez ill – his opponents vindicated

 Hugo Chavez announced that he needs surgery to remove a lesion that has been discovered in his pelvic region. Chavez added that the legion is probably not benign since it is located where a cancerous tumor was removed last year. The thing Rory Carroll, the UK Guardian’s Caracas based correspondent,takes away from this news is that Chavez opponents have been vindicated:

["Hugo Chávez to undergo more surgery"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2012/feb/21/hugo-chavez-undergo-cancer-surgery?INTCMP=SRCH   ]

Carroll wrote

“Ministers mocked reports he had returned to Havana for tests only for the president to confirm them on Tuesday, first in a live television broadcast from a factory in his home state, Barinas, then in the phone calls to state television.”
However, as Tamara Pearson reports, the opposition has spread wild rumors about Chavez’s health:
“Private Venezuelan press had speculated about the fact that Chavez had not being seen in public for a few days, and suggested his cancer was ‘spreading’ and there was ‘metastasis’.  Reportero 24 said it had advanced to the liver…national private media has regularly quoted ‘experts’ or people with ‘inside contacts’ saying that the president has just ‘one year to live’ or casting doubts on the real state of his health. In September the Miami-based El Nuevo Herald quoted unnamed sources claiming the president had been ‘rushed to an emergency room’ and suffered kidney failure, was on dialysis, and had aplastic anaemia. Other media outlets repeated the story.”[1]
The opposition’s reckless, and ghoulish, reporting on Chavez’s health does not make it into Carroll’s article except as an allegation made by Chavez himself.  But Carroll must know that this is a fact, not an allegation.
Carroll concludes
“Analysts said a sympathy bounce for Chávez could be small compensation for losing his aura of invincibility.”
Is the opposition trying to milk Chavez’s health problems for all the political advantage they can – perhaps believing they can damage what they see as the Chavez “aura of invincibility”? As is typical for Carroll, this question cannot be asked even though it is clearly prompted (perhaps inadvertently) by what the unnamed “analyst” said to him.
Rory Carroll never reported that prominent Chavez opponents backed the coup that ousted Manuel Zelaya in Honduras and expressed hope that something similar could happen in Venezuela. [2] Carroll has never reported that hundreds of Chavista peasants have been murdered by gunmen linked to wealthy landowners.[3] Suppressing the way the opposition has sought to profit from Chavez’s health problems is minor compared to those and countless others lies of omission. [4] However, it is striking how an outlet regarded as “left leaning” mounts such a persistent campaign against a democratic government that the US government despises and is seeking to overthrow. Rory Carroll’s reports alone have accounted for about 75% of the Guardian’s output about Venezuela since 2006. Only about 15% of all Venezuela related articles and op-eds have offered an alternative perspective. [5]

In fairness to Rory Carroll, while there can be no doubt that he participates eagerly in the Guardian’s campaign against the Chavez government; there can also be no doubt that his editors are fully aware and supportive of the comically biased nature of their Venezuela coverage.
[1] http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/6826

[2] For example, Guillermo Zuloaga, the president of Globovisión, stated on 17 July that “the government of Micheletti complies with the Constitution, and we would like, indeed we would be delighted, if here in Venezuela, the Constitution was respected in the same way that it is in Honduras,”

See also
Venezuelan Opposition Deny Honduran Coup
[3] http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/6394

[4] An archive of unanswered emails to Rory Carroll and his editors


[5] http://www.zcomm.org/the-guardians-venezuela-coverage-by-joe-emersberger

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