London Mayor Ken Livingstone has attacked The Times's coverage of the
visit of Venezuelan president Hugh Chavez to London this week.
to reports in The Times on 16 May, Livingstone said: "Far from Chavez's
opponents being repressed, as you suggest, they control the vast
majority of the media, including 95 per cent of the country's 180
newspapers, and five out of five private TV stations, which pump out
anti-Chavez propaganda around the clock."
In a letter to the
paper today, Livingstone said: "You claim that poverty [in Venezuela]
has increased when in reality is has decreased, with massive increases
in spending on education and health case, in particular."
said: "That is why, despite an overwhelmingly hostile media, Chavez
stand at more than 70 per cent in opinion polls and his supporters have
won ten elections over the past seven years, all judged free and fair
by international observers."