01 April 2014

IAPA says show of solidarity with Venezuelan newspapers will put Nicolás Maduro’s government to the test

Miami (April 1, 2014)—Just days before the start of the Midyear Meeting of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) in Barbados its Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information called on the Venezuelan government today not to impose greater restrictions on the shipment of newsprint which the Colombian press organization Andiarios is sending to Venezuelan newspapers. Claudio Paolillo, the Committee’s chairman, welcomed Andiarios’ “gesture of solidarity” and said that “this act of support will put the Venezuelan government to the test to see whether it continues with its strategy of direct restrictions on newspapers, one of the few independent voices remaining in Venezuela and which President Nicolás Maduro is also seeking to silence.” The IAPA has been supporting actions in support of the media, the press and journalists in Venezuela, an issue that will be a focus of discussions of the press freedom reports during the organization’s half-yearly meeting to be held April 4-7 in Barbados. At these meetings the report on Venezuela always raises great expectation due to the “great creative capacity of the government to impose censorship,” Paolillo declared. Andiarios (Colombian Association of Newspaper and News Media Editors and Publishers) announced today on its Web site that it is sending 52 tons of newsprint by way of a loan to Venezuelan colleague newspapers – among them El Nacional, El Impulso and El Nuevo País – part of an initiative of several organizations titled “We Are All Venezuela. Without Press Freedom There Is No Democracy.” The organization made it clear that the loan of the newsprint “is just of a symbolic nature” as it is estimated that this amount will be enough only for 15 days of normal circulation. More than 200 participants, among newspaper representatives, reporters and editors, will be attending the half-yearly meeting whose main activity will be the presentation of country-by-country press freedom reports. The IAPA event will be at the Hilton Barbados Resort in Bridgetown, Barbados. To access the meeting’s program please go to http://www.sipiapa.org/en/barbados-jewel-of-the-caribbean-iapas-next-destination/ The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.