Call to the OAS

WHEREAS there is great concern about the Venezuelan government’s attacks on the media, which are intended to close them or suffocate them WHEREAS it is absolutely impossible for a democratic political system to exist without free newspapers and radio stations that are independent of the ruling power and able to resist coercion and threats WHEREAS freedom of expression is the basis of all freedoms for individuals and for society WHEREAS Article 3 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter says, “Essential elements of representative democracy include, inter alia, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, access to and the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law” THE MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to call on the Organization of American States to disqualify the claim of the Hugo Chávez government to legitimacy based solely on elections while it rides roughshod over essential freedoms for individuals and society, restricting them and violating the rule of law to urge all members to demand that their governments condemn the attacks against the news media of Venezuela in the OAS and demand that the Venezuelan government reinstate respect for press freedom in order to restore democratic legitimacy.