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Illiteracy in Venezuela: UNESCO denies Chavez's claims

By Aleksander Boyd

11.07.07 | Just then got a Google alert in my inbox about Venezuela's bogus claims on illiteracy. Chief of UNESCO's Press Relations Section Sue Williams got wind of a story printed by El Universal in which certain remarks were attributed to her. The source of such remarks is an email exchange that I had with her in July last year, in which she stated, very explicitly indeed, that UNESCO had not declared Venezuela as an illiteracy-free territory, as the caudillo and his minions keep deceivingly claiming.

Now the interesting thing about this is that, a year on, Williams just reiterated to El Universal what she had told me then, both on the phone and on email, and added that "in 2005 the number of illiterate people in Venezuela was 1,166,409."

It is very sad that so many of my compatriots are still in the dark for they could certainly use real literacy programmes, instead of being paraded for propaganda purposes. Having said that I can not deny I am glad about Williams' bravery in debunking a lie, which has been echoed a million times.

If only more staff of international organizations had the spine of unmasking the lies coming from the tinpot dictator... Are you reading Insulza?

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