WHEREAS the Venezuelan government has stepped up its systematic violations of standards of democracy and tolerance in the hemisphere, as set forth the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and is constantly implementing coercive and threatening measures against the private news media and journalists WHEREAS the Constitutional Division of the Venezuelan Supreme Court issued Ruling 1942 upholding the principles of its earlier Ruling 1013, which was presented and denounced before the Inter American Press Association and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and which establishes restrictive judicial regulations for news content in addition to establishing the legal responsibility of publishers and editors of news media outlets for this content, and this ruling seriously compromises the exercise of the freedom of speech and freedom of the press WHEREAS discussion continues in the National Assembly, at the government’s initiative, on a bill called the Social Responsibility in Radio and Television Act, known as the Content Law, which blatantly subjects the entire radio and television system to government control and sets forth government policy for creating news content WHEREAS still pending before the Venezuelan National Assembly is a bill with the same restrictive purposes, known as the Citizen Participation Law, which sets up a People’s Watch Council to monitor the print media, and this council which would be authorized to penalize those who, according to its judgment, do not report in a “true and impartial” manner WHEREAS the Venezuelan government has not enforced the various temporary preventive measures issued by the Inter-American Court designed to protect the right to personal safety, as well as the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press for publishers, editors and journalists in the news media in general; and the President himself stated publicly, in the presence of the Secretary General of the OAS and government representatives at the Hemispheric Summit on Poverty, that he would refuse to obey any measure handed down by human rights organizations in the Americas, describing their members as “criminals” WHEREAS threats by the government and the president of Venezuela have continued, even going so far as to mention possible permanent denial of frequencies to radio stations because of disagreement with the news they broadcast WHEREAS Principle 1 of the Declaration of Chapultepec, cited in the OAS Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression, declares, “No people or society can be free without freedom of expression and of the press. The exercise of this freedom is not something authorities grant, it is an inalienable right of the people”; and Principle 5 declares, “Prior censorship, restrictions on the circulation of the media or dissemination of their reports, forced publication of information, the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of news, and restrictions on the activities and movements of journalists directly contradict freedom of the press” THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to emphatically condemn the restrictions being imposed on freedom of expression in Venezuela, through illegal methods or resources that are opposed to its own Constitution, to international human rights treaties and the principles of the Declaration of Chapultepec to denounce these facts to international, governmental and nongovernmental organizations that safeguard and guarantee freedom of press and of expression to request that the president of the IAPA send missions to Venezuela to report on the observance of freedom of expression and freedom of the press in relation to the recall referendum provided under in the Venezuelan Constitution and under agreements promoted by the Secretary General of the OAS, the United Nations and the Carter Center.