Venezuelan journalist, politician Teodoro Petkoff dies at 86

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Caracas, Nov 1 (IANS) Venezuelan politician and journalist Teodoro Petkoff died on Wednesday at the age of 86, the newspaper he founded, Tal Cual, said.

Petkoff, a one-time guerrilla, received an Ortega y Gasset Journalism Award in 2015 in recognition of his work to defend press freedom, as well as independence and rigor in journalism.

The Venezuelan intellectual received that award at his residence in Caracas from former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, reports Efe.

Petkoff was not able to travel to Spain at the time because in 2014 he was banned from leaving Venezuela after publishing in his newspaper an article from The Wall Street Journal accusing a prominent member of the governing party, Diosdado Cabello, of involvement in drug trafficking.

In the 1970s, Petkoff led Venezuela’s radical left in abandoning armed struggle in favour of seeking change through democratic channels.

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He went on to win election to congress and serve as a Cabinet minister before founding Tal Cual.

Despite his leftist origins, Petkoff never supported late President Hugo Chavez’s programme of “21st-century socialism” and remained a steadfast opponent of the governing PSUV party.

–IANS

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