Hans Neumann survived the Nazi invasion of his native Czechoslovakia to become one of the most prominent businessmen and media and arts patron in Venezuela.

Neumann, who immigrated to Venezuela in 1949, was the president of the board of directors of the Daily Journal, the only English language newspaper in Venezuela.

He headed several companies, including Corimon CA, which he helped found.

The Venezuelan government decorated him several times for his contribution to cultural and community organisations. An avid arts collector, Neumann helped found several cultural organisations, including the Zulia Contemporary Arts Museum Foundation.

One of his last projects was to help found TalCual, a feisty afternoon daily, in 2000.

Its editor, Teodoro Petkoff, said: ''I'll never forget the answer he gave me 20 months ago . . . when I described the TalCual project . . . Only two sentences . . . 'I'm going to help you. I want to help you'.'' On Monday he wrote that Hans was still presiding over the board of directors meeting the previous week, despite suffering a long illness and having been paralysed during the last years of his life.

Born in Prague and educated as an industrial and chemical engineer, Neumann became a Venezuelan citizen and frequently gave lectures in universities and industrial institutions. He was a columnist for El Nacional, one of Venezuela's two largest newspapers.

Neumann, who was 80, is survived by his daughter, Arianna Neumann de Rodger, his son-in-law, Andrew Rodger, and his grand children.