Fake image of shortage-ridden Venezuelan supermarket taken in New York

mediaculpaheader.stretchedAlong with gossip, speculation, rumours and disinformation in small, unchallengeable and unverifiable chunks of words and video, the brazen use of fake photos and hoaxes by the monopoly media and social media is becoming common. LUCAS KOERNER documents the latest total fabrication from Venezuela below. Of course, the high-minded Canadian media is second to none in spreading US disinformation about so-called crisis in Venezuela to blame the government, e.g.Toronto Star (here) “Venezuela’s citizens, who are left in the dark, wondering how much worse it can get, and what kind of a future is in store for their resource-rich country”; or the Globe and Mail, (here) “How powerhouse Venezuela has turned into a pauper.” This offensive aids the U.S. secret services and fifth column to generate chaos and upheaval in targeted countries and facilitate intervention against sovereign countries.

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The original high resolution photo. Original caption: “A shopper passes empty shelves while looking for bottled water at a Stop and Shop at Rockaway Beach in New York, August 26, 2011. As North Carolina braced on Friday for a direct hit from Hurricane Irene, cities along the East Coast were on alert and millions of beach goers cut short vacations to escape the powerful storm. With more than 50 million people potentially in Irene's path, residents stocked up on food and water and worked to secure homes, vehicles and boats. States, cities, ports, oil refineries and nuclear plants scrambled to activate emergency plans.”| Allison Joyce/Reuters

The original high resolution photo. Original caption: “A shopper passes empty shelves while looking for bottled water at a Stop and Shop at Rockaway Beach in New York, August 26, 2011. As North Carolina braced on Friday for a direct hit from Hurricane Irene, cities along the East Coast were on alert and millions of beach goers cut short vacations to escape the powerful storm. With more than 50 million people potentially in Irene’s path, residents stocked up on food and water and worked to secure homes, vehicles and boats. States, cities, ports, oil refineries and nuclear plants scrambled to activate emergency plans.”| Allison Joyce/Reuters

Caracas, April 11, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) –  A report by the Spanish website FCINCO has revealed that a photo widely circulated by international media as a depiction of chronic shortages in Venezuela was actually taken in New York in 2011.

The now iconic photograph, which shows a woman in a supermarket gazing at empty shelves, was reposted by news outlets hundreds of times over the last three years as evidence of Venezuela’s economic crisis.

However, a closer examination of the photo demonstrates that it was taken by Reuters photographer Allison Joyce in a New York supermarket on the eve of Hurricane Irene with the caption, “A shopper passes by empty shelves while looking for bottled water at a Stop and Shop at Rockaway Beach in New York, August 26, 2011.”

The image was first erroneously associated with Venezuela by several small blogs in 2012 and 2013, but only in 2014 did it begin to circulate massively, including among prominent news media such as El Nacional, Prensa Libre, La Patilla,Entorno Inteligente, El Nuevo Siglo, Mercopress, Elsalvador.com and Ahora Visión.

In the original high resolution version, the English signs and labels are clearly discernable, including a large poster in the background that reads, “Save 10 cents, 20 cents, 30 cents, or more per gallon.”

Nonetheless, in the course of its massive dissemination, the photo was adulterated to a point that the background signs are pixelated and consequently illegible.

The manipulated image has been so frequently associated with Venezuela that it appears among the first three results of a Google search for “scarcity Venezuela” in Spanish.

In addition to news media, Venezuela’s opposition coalition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD), also circulated the photograph together with a pair of articles published on its website last summer, titled “Poverty, scarcity, repression, and censorship: the deepening calamities in Venezuela (I)” and “The government is the only one responsible for shortages and scarcity”.

Neither the Venezuelan opposition nor any of the news outlets responsible for circulating the photo have yet issued a correction.

For his part, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa seized on the incident as yet another instance of the international media and right-wing forces manipulating facts in order to destabilize progressive governments in the region.

Taking to Twitter, the head of state posted a link to the exposé by FCINCO with the caption, “Yet again… ‘They will not dominate us with force but through deception’. Simón Bolívar.”

RELATED READING: CNN, CBC: Fake image of a young child – again

Human Rights Watch: Uses photo of US bombing destruction of Syria to condemn Assad

April 19

Global Day of Solidarity with Venezuela

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

As part of a national and international anti-imperialist offensive organized by the Communist Party of Venezuela, a joint call has been issued for a Global Day of Solidarity with Venezuela on April 19. The action aims to deliver a clear and strong message to imperialism that Venezuela is not alone and the world’s peoples are supporting Venezuela and fighting alongside.

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5 Comments

Filed under Americas, Media, Journalism & Disinformation

5 responses to “Fake image of shortage-ridden Venezuelan supermarket taken in New York

  1. Kathryn Roston

    Hi Tony,

    The links you provide for this article responds “page not found”

    Thanks, Kathryn Roston

    • Do you mean on Facebook? I fixed it, thanks kindly. What happens is when I change the time of publication, after posting, it changes the URL. And, if its late at night, I usually forget. A friend pointed it out on FB, and I corrected it there.

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