Venezuelan newspaper that challenged Chavez's socialist revolution ends daily edition

The Venezuela newspaper started by a former guerrilla as a forum to criticize the socialist revolution started by the late President Hugo Chavez is ending its daily print edition amid a shortage of newsprint and what it says is a pattern of government harassment.

Starting Sunday, Caracas-based Tal Cual will be available at newsstands only once a week.

Readers will still be able to get the paper's biting editorials and sarcastic headlines daily online, Tal Cual said in a statement Thursday.

Under the giant headline 3/8Hello Hugo,3/8 Tal Cual burst on Venezuela*s media scene in 2000, when some in the country's mainstream media were still enamored with the charismatic Chavez.

The paper is the brainchild of Teodoro Petkoff, a former communist rebel who later tacked to the right and in the mid-1990s oversaw Venezuela*s adoption of a series of pro-market economic reforms.

The 83-year-old Petkoff, whose columns were among the country*s most-read, laid down his pen a few months ago amid failing health.

In recent months the newspaper has complained of a shortage of newsprint that has forced several other Venezuelans dailies to slash pages or close down.

The newspaper has also suffered a series of vilifying attacks by the government out of proportion to its small but loyal circulation.

The latest came last March when National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello filed a defamation suit after he was misquoted by one of the paper*s columnists. The newspaper apologized and said the error arose from another publication's misquoting.