WHEREAS despite the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the United States there continues governmental aggression, censorship and restrictions of press freedom in an environment in which access to information continues to be a prerogative of the state monopoly and is characterized by secrecy
WHEREAS the IAPA has met on at least four occasions with officials of the United States government to insist to it that there be included on the bilateral agenda respect in Cuba for the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press
WHEREAS the harassment and repression of journalists, bloggers and various independent expressions includes arrests, partial detentions, threats of imprisonment, police and/or labor citations, interrogations, confiscations of work equipment, all this in the absence of a legal framework that would protect them
WHEREAS the law contains numerous obstacles to freedom of the press and of information, whose sanctions are contemplated in the Penal Code, among these Article 149 on the crime of "usurping legal capacity," an accusation applied to Henry Constantín Ferreiro, editor of the magazine La Hora de Cuba and regional vice chairman for Cuba of the IAPA Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, for practicing journalism without a degree on the obligatory journalists guild membership the Inter-American Human Rights Court in 1985 ruled that to impede access by any person to the full use of the social news media as a vehicle to express oneself or to transmit information is incompatible with Article 13 of the American Human Rights Convention
WHEREAS despite the fact that the Internet has allowed a greater opening of digital spaces for independent journalists the number of informative Web sites blockaded by the authorities has been on the increase, among these the portals diariodecuba.com, cubanet.org and cibercuba.com, which are added to the list of Web sites already besieged, such as 14ymedio.com, martinoticias.com, cadal.org, among others, and journalism students are encouraged to carry out cyber harassment operations against independent journalists' Facebook accounts
WHEREAS 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" and establishes that "The membership of journalists in guilds, their affiliation to professional and trade associations and the affiliation of the media with business groups must be strictly voluntary".
THE IAPA MIDYEAR MEETING RESOLVES
to reiterate that there be included in the diplomatic agenda of the United States with Cuba compliance with the guarantees of freedom of expression and freedom of the press
to express respect for and solidarity with the independent journalists and bloggers who despite threats and various forms of repression continue to carry out their work of informing
to stress that the figure of obligatory guild membership also is contrary to international rules that back the right to seek, receive, disseminate information and to express opinions, such as the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, among others.