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President accuses journalist of being in the pay of the United States, and CNN of promoting a campaign against him

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 5 December 2007, President Hugo Chávez accused journalist Hernán Lugo Galicia, of the newspaper "El Nacional", of being in the pay of the United States, and recommended that he "write fairy tales." The incident occurred after the journalist published a story stating that the army's high command had intervened and convinced Chávez to allow the broadcasting of preliminary results of the 2 December referendum on the government's constitutional reform proposal, which was defeated.

According to Lugo Galicia's article, the generals warned Chávez that a delay in presenting the results could lead to protests in the country. The president denied that they had done so.

The journalist told IPYS that he confirmed the information contained in the article with his sources and that he attempted to get the authorities' version, but received no reply. He also complained that on 4 December he received an e-mail in which he was accused of working for the Chacao and Baruta councils, which are led by officials who oppose the national government.

In a press conference, Chávez also accused CNN television network of promoting a campaign against him and called for an investigation of the media outlet for broadcasting part of the information included in Lugo's article.

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