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Venezuela Accidentally Used a Photo of an American Detainee in a Tourism Ad

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venezuela

Here’s a rather humorous example of why it’s important to source your photographs correctly and carefully. Venezuela’s state run television has taken down a photo after it was discovered that they had been trying to promote tourism with a photo of an American that had been detained.

CNN reports that the advertisement appeared yesterday as part of the television network’s online tourism campaign. It showed a photo of a man and woman happily embracing and the tagline: “We love Venezuela … for receiving foreigners like one of our own.”

The problem is, the man in the photograph is Jim Wyss, a reporter who was detained in Venezuela back in 2013 for 48 hours for failing to have proper media credentials.

Furthermore, the photo doesn’t show Wyss arriving in Venezuela, but rather his arrival back into the US after being released from custody.

Here’s the original photo and caption as it appeared in the Miami Herald:

"Colleague Luisa Yanez, left, gives Jim Wyss, a welcome hug upon his arrival. Miami Herald reporter Jim Wyss arrived at Miami International Airport after being detained by Venezuela for three days on Sunday, November 10, 2013."
“Colleague Luisa Yanez, left, gives Jim Wyss, a welcome hug upon his arrival. Miami Herald reporter Jim Wyss arrived at Miami International Airport after being detained by Venezuela for three days on Sunday, November 10, 2013.”

Thus, it was ironic that Venezuela would accidentally choose this photo as an example of how the country welcomes and embraces foreigners.

“I thought, either this was a bad accident or someone has a wicked sense of humor,” Wyss tells Fusion. He says a more accurate tagline might be: “We’ll give you 48 hours of free room and board.”

The advertisement showing Wyss as its poster child has since been taken down.

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