09 March 2015


WHEREAS in Venezuela there has been installed a governmental communication hegemony with totalitarian ends, through which public opinion is fed with ideologized messages and usable radio and television spaces are saturated with official propaganda and repeated presidential hookups, going against the right to information and plurality that are inseparable from democracy WHEREAS along with the numerous media that are owned by the government and the alternative ones that live from the official advertising now there is added official control of the editorial stances of traditionally independent media whose ownership has changed without the identity of the new owners being known, there being in consequence a lack of transparency and the presence of an atmosphere of censorship or self-censorship of opinion and information WHEREAS the absence of a separation and independence of branches of government, especially the use of the judiciary and its control by the government, enables the criminalization and litigation of dissident political opinions or of those from within the independent press that harshly criticize the heads of the government bodies WHEREAS Venezuela is facing a serious economic and social crisis which could degenerate into a humanitarian tragedy and which its government, before taking corrective measures and with the aim of diverting attention from such facts, accuses the news media of being in favor of a coup d’etat, journalists being beaten up by police and military forces while covering the news WHEREAS the imprisonment of Caracas Metropolitan Mayor Antonio Ledezma by hooded members of the political police, a dependency of the Venezuelan President, without there being carried out a prior investigation or there being a reasoned court decision, takes place amid a news blackout – presidential hookup – promoted by him, who later criminally charges said popularly-elected senior official for having voiced a political opinion, made public through the written press WHEREAS National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello conducts social communication on a government channel without adherence to journalistic ethics, using evident official intelligence sources under his orders without contesting them, sheltering himself in constitutional privileges granted to him due to his role as Congressman, which is of concern to the United Nations Committee Against Torture WHEREAS the control of newsprint by the government and its provision subject to conditions to independent newspapers that require it represents an attack on the Principles of Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States THE IAPA MIDYEAR MEETING RESOLVES to alert all the members of the Inter American Press Association to the anti-democratic drift of the government of Nicolás Maduro Moros to ask the OAS and United Nations Offices of Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression to give a daily and strict following-up of the violence being waged against freedom of expression and of the press in Venezuela which is the backbone of democracy to condemn the criminalization and litigation of free opinion and the independent press by the Venezuelan government and the absence of a true separation of branches of government in Venezuela to urge Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela, as requested of him during this meeting, to intercede in the upcoming Summit of the Americas before the participating governments for press freedom to be included in all the political and social agreements.