Venezuela: Bye-bye, El Universal UPDATED
As Venezuelans struggle with the world’s fastest inflation and the worst growth prospects outside Equatorial Guinea, Major Venezuelan newspaper to be sold
One of Venezuela’s oldest and most prestigious newspapers has been sold amid increasing government pressure on independent news media.
The editor in chief of Caracas-based El Universal, Elides Rojas, confirmed that a group of Spanish investors had bought the broadsheet from the family that has run the paper since it was founded 104 years ago.
While neutral reporting in Venezuela is hard to come by after 15 years of polarization over socialist rule, El Universal has stuck closer than most to the ideal of fact-based, investigative reporting amid a crackdown on media outlets that, like it, have been fiercely critical of the government.
As you may recall, last year Globovisión was sold to highly-placed chavistas (who own very pricey digs in Miami), after Guillermo Zuloaga, Globovisión’s majority owner, had to flee Venezuela in 2010, following Hugo Chavez’s constant threats against him and the station.
Caracas Chronicles describes the latest transaction as “HegemonCorp. [the private business sector of the communicational hegemony] gets El Universal“
The new head of El Universal would be Jesús “Chucho” Abreu Anselmi, brother of José Antonio Abreu, head of the National Orchestra System (better known as El Sistema).
The Spanish investors’ company, Epalisticia, is described as a “semi-clandestine enterprise” in this report.
Alek Boyd has more, much more on Epalisticia:
Spain’s €3,500 Epalisticia buys El Universal for €90 million