VENEZUELA WHEREAS there is a pronounced trend by the government to use threats to restrict the free practice of journalism and open and direct pressures are imposed on printed media, publishers and journalists for disagreeing with government policy WHEREAS in this sense, the obstinate government policy is aimed at controlling the news WHEREAS official policy has been to consistently incite public hatred against publications that do not support the regime wholeheartedly, and freely describes them, along with their publishers, journalists and columnists, as working against society and calling them anti-social media WHEREAS publisher Pablo López Ulacio is on trial for libel and defamation, as are other journalists accused by state governors and legislative councils for the same reasons, as well as the humiliations heaped on Professor Pablo Aure for exercising their rights as citizens through the media WHEREAS one of the basic principles of the Declaration of Chapultepec says, “o 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 says, “rior 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” and Principle 10 says, “o news medium nor journalist may be punished for publishing the truth or criticizing or denouncing the government” WHEREAS Venezuela’s 1999 Constitution provides for the right to timely, truthful and impartial information, and Advisory Opinion OC-5-85 of the Inter-American Human Rights Court on obligatory licensing says, “it would not be lawful to invoke society’s right to be truthfully informed to provide the basis for a system of prior restraint supposedly intended to eliminate information that the censor considers false” THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to express its concern about the future of freedom of expression in Venezuela and exhort its legislative and judicial authorities not to base their actions on such constitutional precepts as “timely, truthful and impartial information” to draft a Press Law that definitively restricts the free practice of journalism which is essential for an open and democratic society as established by the San José Accord which was signed by Venezuela to particularly urge the legislative and judicial branches not to consider offenses against individuals such as insult, libel and defamation as free of the statute of limitations.