The French newspaper Libération, which spread the slanderous accusations of Simon Wisesenthal against President Hugo Chavez in its edition on January 9, 2006, has faced the readers’ criticisms. But far from amending properly the fact, it has restarted the controversy in its January 12 edition.

Pretending a transparent action, the newspaper resumed the debate in full. It published an excerpt of a reader’s letter (from Romain Migus, journalist of the Venezuelan public service) in which it entirely quoted the remarks by President Chavez and used them to blame him.

Libération also published the reply given by its journalist, Jean Hébert Armengaud, who reiterated his exegesis to the readers, without providing any element that would refute our objections, to definitively conclude on Chavez’s anti-Semitism. The journalist backed his remarks by reproducing an ad hoc request from professors of the Central University of Venezuela and this is the authoritarian argument: I am right, because famous personalities think like me.

On our part, we do not think our readers are naive; neither in this case, nor in others, some personalities are the referees of truth. There will be others who would claim otherwise and people who might want to act as referees of truth. And there will be the convinced ones that as the proverb goes “there is no smoke without fire” who might suggest to take a “neutral ground” between the Truth and False, as Beaumarchais said: “Slander, slander, there will always be something left.”

Following Voltaire’s line, we only give credit to our critical spirit. In this case, as we showed in our previous edition, the words which could be used to blame Hugo Chávez had nothing of anti-Semitism, neither his audience. In this regard, such tone is given by those who want to use the struggle against anti-Semitism with political purposes. [1].

[1] “Faut-il brûler Hugo Chavez ?”, Voltaire, January 10, 2006.