Venezuela livid over US TV show depicting Maduro buying chem arms

Venezuela livid over US TV show depicting Maduro buying chem arms
Handout photo released by the Venezuelan Presidency of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as he gestures while speaking during a TV program at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas on September 2, 2014.

CARACAS - Venezuela has opened a probe into a US television drama series that depicts President Nicolas Maduro as buying chemical weapons on the black market to put down anti-government protests.

Fox 21, the producers of the TNT cable series "Legends," apologised to the president, saying the series was just fiction and did not mean to imply it was reporting real events.

Maduro's government was in fact rocked by protests from February to May that left 43 people dead in several cities.

Angry Venezuelans took to the streets to denounce rampant street crime, 60 per cent yearly inflation, government corruption and shortages of basic goods in the oil-rich country.

Information Minister Delcy Rodriguez said on Twitter that because of "lies and manipulation" against Maduro, the government was asking telecoms regulator Conatel to carry out an investigation.

Conatel director William Castillo said Monday night that his agency was investigating 'Legends'.

Fox 21, owned by 21st Century Fox, said it was sorry.

"Legends is obviously a work of fiction. The producers did not intend to imply that the show was reporting any actual events when it mentioned President Maduro's name. We sincerely apologise to President Maduro," Fox 21 said in a statement.

In the third episode of 'Legends,' aired in Caracas last week, an undercover FBI agent interrogates a suspected chemical weapons trafficker who says he buys VX gas for Maduro and the Venezuelan ruling party.

The traffickers says the government is "worried about the riots in Venezuela".

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