WHEREAS for more than 50 years the Cuban government has violated the right to freedom of the press and to free expression of ideas, preventing the people from receiving and exchange information without censorship or limitations of any kind; WHEREAS in April 2003, during the so-called Black Spring, the Cuban government jailed 75 persons, among them human rights activists, labor union members and journalists, and sentenced them to various prison terms ranging from three to 30 years; WHEREAS throughout the years, and due to efforts by international organizations, international recognition of members of the opposition, and especially the demands of the Women in White, the Cuban government has been forced to release those imprisoned, among whom were 27 journalists; WHEREAS while the release of the prisoners is a matter for jubilation, it cannot obscure the fact that the majority were required to leave their country and they never benefitted from amnesty, for which reason those who decided to remain in Cuba could be sent back to prison at any moment; WHEREAS despite the releases the structure of vigilance, control and repression remains intact, which means that human rights continue being violated, including press freedom and free speech; WHEREAS independent journalists and bloggers continue to be the object of acts of repression, among them temporary detention, fines, confiscation of money and work equipment, beatings, sieges, reprisals against family members, restriction of movement to the area where they live, having their mail read, campaigns to discredit them, blockage of access to the Internet, and bans on attending public events; WHEREAS foreign correspondents continue to be watched and controlled by the government and their coverage is subject to restrictions and self-censorship; WHEREAS access to the Internet continues to be restricted for the Cuban population and the government blocks Web sites, arguing that they disseminate enemy propaganda and therefore put national sovereignty in danger; WHEREAS the Inter American Press Association has always denounced the violation by the Cuban government of freedom of the press and of expression and has supported Cuba’s independent press; WHEREAS principle 1 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states that “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”; WHEREAS principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states that “freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators; such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly”; THE IAPA MIDYEAR MEETING RESOLVES: to demand the suspension of acts of vigilance, control and repression of independent journalists and bloggers; to condemn the ongoing governmental control of the Internet and the blocking of Web sites that disseminate information and ideas not in line with the views of the official media; to urge the Cuban government to declare an amnesty for those former prisoners of conscience freed on parole; to invite the members of the IAPA to approach the governments of their nations with the objective that their respective diplomatic representations offer facilities to access the Internet to the independent journalists and bloggers; to intercede with the Office of Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States and that of the United Nations for Freedom of Opinion and Expression, pleading that they periodically verify the denunciations of violations of freedom of expression in Cuba.