Jan 22, 2010

Truth over delusion: Hugo Chavez did not accuse the U.S. of causing the Haitian earthquake

On January 19, Spanish newspaper ABC, a newspaper of record in Spain, published a story entitled Chavez accuses US of causing earthquake in Haiti.

The story was quickly picked up by websites around the globe - most quoting Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez as saying the U.S. used a new tectonic weapon to induce the Haitian earthquake. This was, according to Chavez - "only a drill, and the final target is destroying and taking over Iran".

Within the actual story, ABC noted that the information came from an obscure opinion post on the website of a Venezuelan state television channel, VIVE Television. The post referenced a supposed Russian military report
on American seismic weapons.

All quotes subsequently attributed to Chavez regarding Haiti and earthquake weapons were in fact direct quotes from this web posting - none of which was ever uttered by Chavez.


Spurred on by the international attention being received by its first story, ABC posted a second article on January 20 under the banner The Secret Weapon to Cause Earthquakes in which it cites Chavez as having blamed the US for razing Haiti.

By the time the story had run its course, it had been covered with varying degrees of accuracy by
corporate news channels, foreign outlets eager to accuse the U.S. of another evil deed, and conspiracy websites happy to have their ideas officially validated.

In the end, it serves as one more reminder to those who prefer truth over ideological delusion: there are some subjects for which the myths of journalistic standards will still be displayed - stories about the government of Venezuela are not one of those subjects.





38 comments:

Jeff Carr said...

Thank you for investigating this. This media failure is probably noteworthy in the sense that it should be added to Hugo Chavez' wikipedia entry.

Anonymous said...

Don't make the US the victim here. The story cast Chavez at a crucial moment of international mobilization as a fool. The disaster in Haiti is not only an opportunity for humanitarian interventions, but political interventions as well. If the US had not practically invaded the country, it would have provided an opening for Chavez and other critics of the US. Remember, Chavez has a feather in his cap for susidizing home heating oil for thousands of Americans a couple years ago.

Anonymous said...

He didn't subsidize only one time. Venezuela has been doing it for many years before most people knew about it. Just thought I'd share that with you.

Steve said...

Just thought I would share with YOU that Chavez provided the oil subsidies from 2005-2009.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/05/venezuelas-citgo-ends-fre_n_155464.html

Not exactly "many" years (I don't think that 4 qualifies as "many") and not "has been" which as a participle would indicate that he currently does so. He does not currently do so.

Juan C. Tello said...

actually the original information didn't come from vive but from RNV
(another goverment controlled media group) http://www.rnv.gov.ve/noticias/?act=ST&f=15&t=117754

Brian Wilkins said...

@Steve: It was re-instated: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/59215.html

Brian Wilkins said...

@Steve: The Oil Heat Program has been around since 1979. They are partnered with CITGO.

See: Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program

Conversely, the Citgo Heating Oil Program started in 2005: http://www.citgoheatingoil.com/

Steve said...

I stand corrected.

addboy said...

@Steve - I just have to say, major kudos for rolling with the punch on that one and admitting you were wrong, especially after the indignant defence. Such a rare thing these days. No sarcasm or irony intended, my hat is off to you, if everyone behaved like that.. well what a wonderfully civilized society the Internet would be..

Anonymous said...

Is untrue that this story is running in "an obscure opinion post on the website of a Venezuelan state television channel, VIVE Television". This is the main story in a website owned by the Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Comunicación y la Información and the State TV. Chavez doesn't said this, but his subordinates, did it.

Anonymous said...

"This is the main story in a website owned by the Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Comunicación y la Información and the State TV. Chavez doesn't said this, but his subordinates, did it."

This story from the BBC (British State Run News) is entitled "Secret UFO Base Revealed" (from 2000).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/717459.stm

Do you think it's fitting to write this up under the headline: "Tony Blair accuses US government of UFO coverup"?

It is his subordinates after all.

andre said...

"Terremoto experimental" de Estados Unidos devastó Haití
http://www.vive.gob.ve/imprimir.php?id_not=15464id_s=3p

http://www.rnv.gov.ve/noticias/index.php?s=09fea455dc67368c62608210d2e7df10&act=Search&CODE=show&searchid=4bc611deb5a42240c5d5a9f5e06f1a3e&search_in=posts&result_type=topics&highlite=haarp

Rober said...

ABC is newspaper of Spain, my coun try, opossite to the Zapatero government and all left ideas. Ten years after, this newspaper had a normal, common possition in the market of comunications, but now, all the right, extreme-right, conservative medias are together against ZP(MP of Spain) and all that "smell" ZP...included ridiculous and fakes news. ABC, El Mundo, La Razon, Intereconomia...is a SHAME for the journalist of Spain.

Ta for a free web!!!

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of spanish economic inversions and corporations in south-america; the economic power fears politics who don't allow the wild capitalism and the ecological and laboral crimes they're used to in south-america. The conservator media (as ABC) attack Chavez because of this and of course because of his socialistic ideas, but the biggest progressist spanish media grup (PRISA) is allied with Colombia and Uribe... so the information about south-america and specially Chavez in Spain is so, so, so poisoned.

I hope, you will undersand my english... or try to understand it.

Uriuri

The Anti Press said...

Dear MaraudeR

Now that I am not at work, I can respond to your comments - which I have deleted as I do not particularly appreciate being called a plagiarist.

I believe I did likely use your image. It was either yours, or another Spanish blogger I came across during my research - I saved quite a few files during the course of it.

I did come across your article, and I tried multiple times to render it in Google translate, but I couldn't get a translation. I was quite disappointed as, although I don't speak Spanish, I could tell that we were in fact, talking about the same subject. I would have copied and pasted it, but at the time, all I was looking for was the RVN release (which I never found).

I did copy and paste it into Google today, and from the short amount I was able to read, it's obvious that this is not a "direct translation of your work", or anything close to it.

As the image in question is actually not open sourced (being an image of a corporate paper) - I don't feel particularly compelled to attribute it to you - considering you have just spent the better part of a day calling me a plagiarist.

Regards,
And thank you for spreading truth.

The Anti Press said...

For those interested in exploring the article from which I copied the image file:

http://librexpresion.org/otra-mentira-de-la-prensa-derechista-chavez-se-suma-la-teoria-conspiranoica-del-haarp

Judge for yourself.

Manuko said...

Thank you very much for the post - it's very good to know that there are pages from english-speakers talking about the corporative disinformation about Venezuela -, and thank you very much about your last comment - although I don't see anything to judge on it... :P -

Keep revealing the truth.

Best regards.

addboy said...

I don't think the author realises that we all still have copies of the (valid) comments he's deleted. Unfortunately this blog just became a worthless oppressor of speech. Watch, he'll delete this comment too..

tiffany said...

How have the actions of Hugo Chavez effected the investment environment within Latin America? Commodities expert Robert Petrucci explains

http://www.alternativelatininvestor.com/commodities2.php

W. K. Mahler said...

You want the truth? Read Here..

http://blogs.myspace.com/wkmahler

For the record, the main media agency that President Chavez uses the most, received no less than 2 emails from me, one year prior to Hurricane Katrina and it was then and to this day, exactly what I've read Chaves *(according to here:)

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abc.es%2Fhemeroteca%2Fhistorico-20-01-2010%2Fabc%2FInternacional%2Fel-arma-secreta-para-provocar-terremotos_1133182612243.html&anno=2

When you are done, please read here:

http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=674Presenter:
Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen April 28, 1997 8:45 AM EDT


DoD News Briefing: Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen


Cohen's keynote address at the Conference on Terrorism, Weapons of
Mass Destruction, and U.S. Strategy at the Georgia Center, Mahler
Auditorium, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. The event is part of the Sam
Nunn Policy Forum being hosted by the University of Georgia. Secretary Cohen
is joined by Sen. Sam Nunn and Sen. Richard G. Lugar.
Secretary Cohen: Senator Nunn, thank you very much. As Senator Nunn
has indicated, he and I have worked for many years together, along with
Senator Lugar. The two of these gentlemen I feel are perhaps the most
courageous and visionary to have served in the Senate. They were largely
responsible, of course, for adopting the so-called Nunn/Lugar legislation.

Joaquín said...

VIVE TV is a venezuelan government TV channel. All the reports and news broadcasted by this channel are produced by the Venezuelan government propaganda bureau (Minsiterio del Poder Popular para la Información). Probably Chávez himself did not say such stupidity, but all Venezuelan government media (more than 300 radio stations and mores tha 20 tv stations) accused the US and his "earthquake generating" weapons system of the Haitian tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Joaquin: There is no indication that this story was "broadcast" by state media - no record exists at all to support this assertion. It's nice to know that Venezuelan state media encompasses more than 300 radio and 20 TV stations, but this article can be found on a few different Radio National Venezuela web pages, and once on VIVE's site (bylined to RNV).

You would not have heard of this report if it had not been for ABC newspaper in Spain - and they spun it to attribute it to Chavez.

This is a non-event - the fact that you want to believe it, doesn't make it true.

Christina said...

Hey! thank you for investigate. this failure reason most depend on Hudo Chavez. student loan

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Shaun said...

How could anybody really believe that a government could cause an earthquake as large as that? And if they could, why in Haiti? That's just Insanity workout

saç ekimi said...

Thank you very much for the post - it's very good to know that there are pages from english-speakers talking about the corporative disinformation about Venezuela -, and thank you very much about your last comment - although I don't see anything to judge on it... :P -

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Mesothelioma said...

By the time the story had run its route, it had been enclosed with varying degrees of truth by corporate news channels, foreign outlets eager to accuse the U.S. of one more evil deed, and conspiracy websites happy to have their ideas officially validated.

Resistance Bands said...

Chavez is crazy!!

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