Hurdles in paper import put the press in jeopardy
Venezuelan Press Association and IAPA require the removal of restrictions
The BPV required the Venezuelan government to remove the restrictions faced by its members in pursuing foreign currency.
"The government of President Hugo Chávez changed the terms and conditions to import newsprint, demanding now a certificate of national production' issued by the Ministry of Industries and Commerce in order to have access to the Foreign Exchange Administration Board (Cadivi) and procure foreign currency for the purposes of import," stated the association in a press release.
Moreover, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) requested the government on Wednesday to remove the existent barriers to the apportionment of foreign currency aimed at the import of newsprint, Efe cited.
"The burdensome and awkward system of approval of foreign currency for newspapers just reaffirms the official intention to control the independent press by means of requirements imposed by a division of the Executive Power," lamented Claudio Paolillo, the president of the IAPA Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information.
As late as Tuesday, February 25, there was some visible response from Gabriela Ramírez's office. Representatives of the Office of the Ombudswoman would visit independent human rights watch groups to find what happened in connection with repression of protests. That day, they visited NGO Provea. The next day, they met with the attorneys of NGO Venezuelan Criminal Forum. They pursued specific data because -they argued- no claims of human rights violations of demonstrators had been filed with the Office of the Ombudswoman.