[Justin Delacour, editor of the blog, Latin America News Review, argues that a recent Associated Press report quoting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as referring to Spain's former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar as a "fascist" at the Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile, fails to include the relevant background information. Consequently, the report makes Chavez's statements appear so bizarre and undiplomatic as to be inexplicable. During closing speeches by Latin American leaders on Saturday, King Juan Carlos of Spain told Chavez to "shut up", therebye bringing the Ibero-American summit to an acrimonious end. Click here for an update by Delacour on this story. Click here for an account of this news in Spanish and to see a video of the exchange between Chavez and the Spanish king.]
A combination photo shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez addressing the closing session of the XVII Ibero-American Summit (right photo) and Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero (L) and King Juan Carlos protesting over Chavez's speech (left photo) in Santiago November 10, 2007. King Juan Carlos told Chavez on Saturday to "shut up" during closing speeches by leaders from the Latin world that brought the Ibero-American summit to an acrimonious end. Credit: Reuters
Associated Press omits relevant history in report of Chavez's harsh words for Spain's former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar
By Justin Delacour - Latin America News Review
Saturday, November 12, 2007
A common problem in English-language reporting about Latin America is the failure of reporters to put issues into historical context. For example, a recent Associated Press report quotes Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as referring to Spain's former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar as a "fascist" at the Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile. By leaving out the relevant background information, the report makes Chavez's statements appear so bizarre and undiplomatic as to be inexplicable. In reality, the Venezuelan President's strong antipathy toward Spain's former Prime Minister has recent historical roots in Aznar's support for a failed coup d'etat against the Chavez government in April 2002. Jorge Castañeda, Mexico's former foreign minister, has divulged that, during the short-lived Venezuelan coup, Aznar's government worked to cobble together diplomatic support for coup leader Pedro Carmona.
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