Venezuelan government wipes out freedom of speech and press, IAPA cautions
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."