HegemonCorp. gets El Universal (Updated)

El_Universal_Building,_CaracasBecause taking over the largest newspaper group in Venezuela in order to dismantle simply 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.


46 thoughts on “HegemonCorp. gets El Universal (Updated)

  1. Mr. Mata was known to say that his grandfather had survived LVG, his father PJ and that his shift would survive HCH. I guess this was technically the case.

    Knowing his team’s dedication and commitment, and his commitment to the paper, this strongly signals to me that El Universal was a losing proposition in the fore coming future of Venezuela.

    Another sad day for the nation.


    • In fact, the sale of El Universal means the last member of the upper class who rose during the Gómez years is departing. Another chapter in the book “Twilight of the Traditional Elites in Venezuela”?


    • With the $120M another media can be created that is more effective than print media in Venezuela. I would say that it doesn’t sound like a good play from the government. How many people read the print version of El Universal? Can they be swayed just because it has a new editorial line? No. They will look somewhere else.


      • There’s no point in selling a 104 year-old newspaper to start the same business again from scratch. If so, it’d have been less difficult for Andrés Mata to say “No, I won’t sell” in the first place. Also, it isn’t fair to dismiss the matter as to simply look somewhere else. El Universal has been the Venezuelan newspaper with the most success in remaining neutral to the political bickering, and that quality, my friend, is much scarcer than toilet paper these days.


        • I do not think they would start another printed newspaper, but instead an internet based one including video feeds.

          With the government strangling the newspaper out of business it was only a matter of time until it would be forced to close anyway. Add to that that printed media is a dwindling business anyway. By buying them the government probably thinks that they have shut them down (and they may very well have), but there is not that much of a difference from the situation before where they were merely surviving. So the government didn’t gain a whole lot by this forced acquisition. Instead they solved the problem for the Mata family and injected new capital that they may use to open a new media if they decide to. It is up to them though, I do not know if they have any intention to do so or they will just take their money and leave.


  2. Would like to know which Spanish group. I mean, none over here are overly pro-chavistas AND simultaneously full of money. The more leftist diaries are just digital only, the “leftiest” tv channels are brands of the same media conglomerate that has right, left, whatever flavor you want they have a channel for you…

    Now, if Saturday they still dont say who bought it in Venezuela…. shouldnt it be possible to know it from this side. I mean, that kind of operation has to leave some visible traces, if not outright public record if they are on the market.


    • Company name: Epalisticia SL
      Based on: Madrid, Spain.
      Started: July 24, 2013
      Business type: Investment
      Common stock: €3,500.00
      Source: Madrid Registry of Commerce

      All data is pretty self-evident. I, for one, love the enrollment date. They’ve given the show away. You can’t get any more bolivarian than this!


  3. Ultimately it is a business enterprise not a political organization. It is a difficult choice between being strangled to death by lack of paper or have the company survive and keep jobs for many employees. It is probably going to be a case for the history books to illustrate how Chavismo did not tolerate an even moderated independent press.


    • I believe you don’t know the meaning of ‘Country First’ to the American people —the most ardent followers of corporations. I don’t think they’d dismiss this kind of operation as “business is business” should they be in a similar situation.


  4. Anybody who has been believing in a lessening of power on the part of the thugs, is living a dream, not a reality, and does not understand the extended roots of the problem.


    • Chavismo is now stronger than ever. Past times were dominated with support buyouts, now that they don’t have any bucks left they realize, by chance, they no longer -need- to pay. Repression worked, political prosecution is working (Leopoldo who?, Simonovis who?, MariCori who?).

      Despite being an utterly stupid turd, maduro is solid there. I give him 20 years to say the least unless he gets his ass busted by Diosdado or someone like him

      Hegemon does a wonder job confining sheeple into believing the system works. Oppo people will continue to march, protest and get killed / tortured at a fraction of the cost of the typical tampered election. Nothing will happen. Buying newspapers and media is A LOT cheaper than buying people.

      The olive green drug-clad gang is winning. Oppo is finally beat to the ground, PSUV is shedding heaps of “utopics” like Giordani and we are racing towards the typical police state.

      Doom. I cannot think otherwise. Whoever think chavismo is in crumbles should get his head tested.


      • A few reflexions:
        1. People already dissatisfied wont love the govt more because of its control of media messages .The govt can silence the oppo but it cant switch people’s critical opinions which feed largely on the frustrations of daily experiences. whatever the media says about them .
        2. People already brainwashed by the regime and who dont want to believe in anything that hurts their already made up opinions will find solace from what a controlled media has to say.and pay no attention to what a free press has to say. However they will not become ,more numerous because of such media control .3. the govt use of institutionalized repression and violence against opponents doesnt depend on getting a good press , thats just icing on the cake . they are somewhat more inhibited if they are seen to openly violate peoples rights and freedoms in a blatant way , but clearly it doesnt stop them .
        Not sure a free press will be that decisive in turning the tide of govt repression nor in hurting its popularity among its fanatized followers. It helps keep the oppo spirits up but lets no expect the media by itself to be that decisive in making people assumme an anti govt stance.

        An example , water and power shortages make people mad against the govt , Maduro in response to such anger has with much fanfare appointed a Special Commission to look into the problem and solve it for the peoples sake . Does anyone realy believe that people left waterless or without electricity will stop feeling angry because of this Maduro announcement , that they will say its the weathers fault or some such nonsense . of course not!!


          • Quite true …… for open minds , People with made up opinions however will tend to reject any information that doesnt suit their prejudices or preferences and welcome any misinformation that flatters them . Cant rule out that well informed people also get angry at what that information tells them !!

            Then there is the sad fact that there are people who cannot rationally process the information thats put before them , not because their sectarian passions prevent it , but because their ignorance or lack of proper education make them incapable of assimilating and understanding such information !! Quite a few of those in our country.!!


      • In other words, you gave up and let them win.
        Good, you can go to your line, and praise the colonoscopic wax doll when some malandros come and fire 15 rounds at your face.
        Other people are willing to fight to the bitter end, even if that means going hand-to-hand with the nazi shitgangs and the green turds.


  5. As long as newspapers are all owned by members/unofficial adherents to a Leninist party like PSUV, private ownership is completely congruent with dictatorship. And even more so when the “private owners” get their fortunes from party-insider deals.


  6. Spanish group. Flamenco or rock group? I guess it mask a lot of sense to buy a newspaper, a dying breed, in a country which has no newsprint and the media is censored. Lots of opportunities for growth and recoup the 90 million euros and repatriate earnings via Cadivi.

    Let me breathe some air purified with Ozone…


  7. “Abreu has promised that El Universal’s editorial line won’t change and that there’s no connection between the buyers and the government.”
    But of course, journalism is just a thriving business in Venezuela, it would be crazy not to invest in it. Lack of printing paper, a hostile government against opposing views, limited free speech…Just go for it, stockholders.


  8. OT, why is the translation of Runrunes in El Universal into English RUBBISH to this very day???? All this time have they not been able to afford a decent translator? It makes the country look bad.


  9. Interesting to see how they deal with the economic management of the paper. Knowing nothing regarding it’s current status other than newspaper is scarce and censorship is rampant, can they afford loss of readers if they adopt a pro-government editorial line?


  10. One of the things I like about that company is how it defines its “expertise”:

    * oil
    * media
    * real estate

    These are basically THE areas where vultures make a lot of money in Venezuela, apart from CADIVI-like methods.


    • Very simple: Thieves lie, manipulate and will do anything to continue stealing.

      Anything you want to understand about the “Revolution” can be explained that way: Stealing $$$$$.


  11. In case anyone hasn’t seen it yet, this “article” was published in the July 6th issue of El Universal. They didn’t wait long: «Con respecto al diálogo, el mandatario venezolano ha insistido en este aspecto desde que asumió el poder el año pasado. En marzo, en medio de los hechos violentos promovidos por sectores de la derecha, convocó a una Conferencia Nacional por la Paz, para incentivar el encuentro con los diferentes sectores, pero los voceros de la derecha abandonaron pronto la iniciativa.» http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/140706/convocan-consejo-de-estado-para-abordar-reforma-estructural-del-gobier


  12. Wasn’t that Anselmi guy one of the swindlers guilty for the grand theft of Banco Latino in the 90s?
    The Universal even published a note relating him and the rest of his gang in the incident.


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