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El Universal is a major Venezuelan newspaper, headquartered in Caracas with an average daily circulation of about 150,000.[dubious– discuss] The online version carries news, politics, sports, economy and more. El Universal is part of the Latin American Newspaper Association (Spanish, Periódicos Asociados Latinoamericanos), an organization of leading newspapers in Latin America. Its main rival is El Nacional.
The newspaper was previously considered to be a pro-opposition newspaper, maintaining a editorial stance that was conservative, business-oriented and critical of the policies of former President Hugo Chávez. On the morning of 13 April 2002, when the removal of Hugo Chavez in what later came to be referred to as the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt appeared a success, the paper headlined ¡Un Paso Adelante! (One Step Forward!).
On 5 July 2014, it was announced that after 105 years of ownership, the Mata family had sold a controlling stake in the newspaper to a Spanish investment firm, Epalisticia S.L., a firm that "was created with the purpose of acquiring" El Universal. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, El Universal "cozied up to Venezuela's socialist government" following the purchase and reported that staff complained about self-censorship and firings occurring.
^(Spanish) Kaiser, Patricia (2003), "Estrategias discursivas antichavistas de los medios de comunicacion", Revista Venezolana de Economía y Ciencias Sociales9 (3)
^Gottberg, Luis Duno (2004), "Mob outrages: reflections on the media construction of the masses in Venezuela (April 2000–January 2003)", Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 13(1). The front page is reproduced on p120.