In a rather strange and definitely whoops situation, Venezuela used a photo of a journalist, just released from their custody, to promote tourism to the country.
It seems Venezuela is on a mission to attract new tourism from Spain, and they launched a huge advertising campaign on local TV, but whoops, they used the weirdest photo they could ever have chosen.
Jim Wyss from the Miami Herald was astounded to see that he is currently starring in the #Amamosavenezuela or “We love Venezuela” campaign. He is also somewhat amused at the promotional text used to attract people to a country who he considers to be “one of the most murderous countries in the hemisphere and is prone to civil unrest.”
What the promotional text says translates to “We love Venezuela for receiving foreigners like one of our own,” but the story was rather different for Wyss himself, hence his confusion and rather sardonic amusement.
As explained in his article on the Idaho Statesman, the photo, captured on a promo on the Spanish Telesur TV channel, shows Wyss himself looking very happy and relieved as he is hugged by a colleague, Luisa Yanez, on his arrival back at Miami International Airport after spending 48 hours in detention in Venezuela back in November 2013. Whoops, indeed.
Wyss works from Bogotá, where he has been covering the Andes for the Miami Herald for around three years. He had made several trips to Venezuela before, with no problem and has, in fact, made further visits since.
But that particular trip turned bad. Wyss said that he started to worry when he found himself “wearing a bulletproof vest and lying on the backseat of an unmarked armored car, being escorted by three heavily armed men.”
He had been interviewing opposition and ruling party leaders about Venezuela’s December 8 municipal vote at the time and possibly the government doesn’t like competition. To cut a long story short, Wyss was finally released after 48 hours and allowed to travel home, where the excited and relieved journalist was photographed in a welcoming hug. The tweet below shows the original image.
Jim Wyss, corresponsal de Miami Herald, se sorprendió al verse como una imagen promocional de una supuesta… http://t.co/AxyIoLbLpv
— Venelectronic Corp (@venelectronic) February 1, 2015
The Spanish language newspaper El Pais reported on the story, saying the photo had been released through the Venezuelan State television Friday, along with various other photos of tourist sites and images of Hugo Chávez. Photos also appeared on the social networks, including Twitter and YouTube, with the hashtags, #AmamosVenezuela or “We love Venezuela.”
Wyss told the New York Times that he thought the whole thing was fun and that he was not sure if it was a genuine mistake or a huge joke.
“I don’t know if it was a big mistake by Telesur or someone has a great sense of humor. It’s very bizarre.”
Whatever caused the strange publication is still unknown, but what a whoops that was, indeed.
In other odd news, the Inquisitr recently reported that an Oklahoma Target store was displaying Fifty Shades of Grey toys right next to the children’s toothbrushes.
[Image: Twitter fair use]