13 January 2008

IAPA invites Hugo Chávez to its upcoming meeting in Caracas


IAPA invites Hugo Chávez to its upcoming meeting in Caracas


MIAMI, Florida (January 14, 2008)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) announced today that it is going ahead with its preparations to hold its upcoming membership meeting in Caracas and has issued a special invitation to Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez to take part in the event.


IAPA President Earl Maucker said, “Our organization hopes that President Chávez will formally open our meeting as is customary – we always invite the heads of state of each country where we hold such meetings to do so.”


Maucker, editor and senior vice president of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, added, “We are now going full steam ahead with our plans, as our membership meeting in Miami last October asked us to do.”


The Midyear Meeting in the Venezuelan capital, which has the backing of the Venezuelan Press Bloc, will be held March 28-30 at the Caracas Palace Hotel, located in the upscale Altamira district.


Gonzalo Marroquín, chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, declared, “Our meeting in Caracas will serve to show support for the work of the Venezuelan press” but added that “our priority will continue to be on a hemisphere-wide basis, as what is involved is reviewing and taking a close look at the overall state of freedom of the press and free speech in all the countries of the Western Hemisphere.”


In addition to looking at violations of press freedom over the past six months the meeting plans to hold panel discussions on the economic, political and social situation in Latin America and how the independent press is faring in such a context.


For more information, go to the Web site www.sipiapa.org