CUBA WHEREAS Cuban authorities have increased the level of repression and persecution of journalists and writers, applying beatings at the slightest excuse, authorizing heinous acts of reprisal against them, and firing numerous dissidents from the government media dozens of writers and journalists are serving prison terms for the mere fact of having dissented from the government by publishing articles or signing declarations demanding democracy the Havana-based Association of Independent Journalists of Cuba (APIC) has issued a statement of principles, which establishes as a first precept the defense of free speech, the undeniable basis of human dignity APIC has shown courage in "assuming the responsibility that the profession demands toward the country and its citizens," despite personal risk to its members APIC seeks the total elimination of press censorship and creation of private and independent media in Cuba, and defines itself as a project to establish a basis for a free press in Cuba APIC directors Nestor Baguer, Elias Noa, Rolando Pratt and Bernardo Marques have been arrested or brutally assaulted in the last few weeks APIC has formally asked the Cuban Justice Ministry to recognize it as an association and has asked to be granted the right of association and assembly APIC has undertaken a project to lay the foundations for a free press in Cuba THE 48th GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to strongly condemn the reprehensible and shameful campaign of repression and intimidation by the Cuban government against independent journalists, which denies them of their most basic human rights to demand that the Cuban government, especially President Fidel Castro, cease immediately the persecution of free journalists and writers and free those such as Maria Elena Cruz Varela, Yndamiro Restano, Luis Alberto Pita Santos and others who were convicted and imprisoned for what they have written to offiCially recognize the Association of Independent Journalists of Cuba as a worthy representative of the journalistic profession in that country and to request that the Ministry of Justice of Cuba grant it the necessary license to be able to meet legally and to take action to improve the profession and the welfare of journalists.