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Caracas, Monday March 14 , 2005  
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Venezuelan government wipes out freedom of speech and press, IAPA cautions
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The Midyear Meeting host by the Inter-American Press Association issued Monday a final resolution on the Venezuela's case and agreed to "condemn the behavior of the Venezuelan government intended to curtail democratic freedoms, reduce the guaranties characteristic in the rule of law and wiping out therewith freedom of speech and press."
IAPA representatives gathered in Panama urged international organizations, particularly the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to speak out against the violations in Venezuela of freedom of speech and press.
The declaration calls in the IACHR to "fulfill institutional duties" and condemn Venezuela, as violation of the freedom of speech and press are an overt breach of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, related principles established by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Chapultepec Declaration.
Additionally, they found that Venezuela continues being a matter of concern because President Hugo Chávez "has consolidated his dominance over most media through the gag law," an a comparison is made to Cuba, "where independent journalists have been imprisoned or silenced for more than 40 years."

"Consolidation of courts under the control of President Chávez, along with a complaisant national assembly have enabled the president to control the contents of the programs broadcasted on radio and TV, whereas his implacable attacks on the media have dampened readiness to criticize."

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