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realclearworld

Reports from Cuba’s Venezuela: HegemonCorp. gets El Universal (Updated)

By Gustavo Hernandez Acevedo in Caracas Chronicles:

HegemonCorp. gets El Universal (Updated)

El_Universal_Building,_CaracasBecause taking over the largest newspaper group in Venezuela in order to dismantling it wasn’t enough, HegemonCorp. (the private business sector of the communicational hegemony) has bought El Universal, according to multiple press reports.

Behind the operation is an alleged Spanish press group, but no details are yet available. Yet again, we’re in the land of “secret buyers.”

The rumored price of the sale is around 90 million euros, or around $120 million. That’s just under half what Jeff Bezos paid for The Washington Post, which does sound like a lot, doesn’t it?

The sale comes after multiple attempts over the years to buy the paper from the Mata family. Looks like they finally gave in…

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).

In the next few days we can expect more information about this change inside one of Venezuela’s more important newspapers, but given the earlier precedents of Ultimas Noticias and Globovision, it seems like the hegemony is still going strong in its main objective.

UPDATE: The sale has been officially confirmed. Its new chairman Jesús Abreu Anselmi has promised that El Universal’s editorial line won’t change and that there’s no connection between the buyers and the government. However, there are questions around the Spanish investment group Epalisticia, involved in this operation.

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