Venezuela II

73rd General Assembly
Salt Lake City, Utah
October 27-30

WHEREAS there has been seen the report presented to the IAPA 73rd General Assembly on the situation in Venezuela, in which there is placed on record the fact that in only the last year there have been recorded 887 violations of freedom of expression, 778 cases of physical attacks on journalists, and 613 persons responsible for wounding or killing belonging to the government's safety squads or sympathizers and paramilitary groups of the Venezuelan that act under the protection of the government

WHEREAS the Venezuelan government continues in its systematic policy against the free practice of journalism, sponsoring or tolerating physical attacks upon independent journalists and constantly violating the citizens' right to freedom of expression

WHEREAS these actions and happenings constitute an open violation of the guarantees and rights established in the most important international instruments regarding human rights, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, the American Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations International Civil and Political Rights Pact

WHEREAS on Friday, August 25, 2017 at 9:31 p.m. Venezuela's National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) notified Venezuelan radio station Emisora Caracas 92.9 FM the decision "not to renew the license and the permissions to operate" of this radio station; during the night, in a surprise manner, the station's transmitter and links were ordered to close down without there having been started a prior administrative procedure

WHEREAS Conatel alleges that the license had expired eight years ago, a period in which the station had operated regularly, paying all its fees to Conatel and complying with all its obligations as a radio station

WHEREAS Emisora Caracas 92.9 FM is the sister station of Radio Caracas Radio 750 AM (station against which Conatel has recently initiated a new administrative sanction process) and both form part of the group of companies to which there belongs Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV), a television channel unlawfully closed down by the Venezuelan regime in 2007, and RCTV International, a cable channel closed down by the same Venezuelan government in 2010

WHEREAS the Venezuela government not only refuses to comply with the rulings of the OAS Inter-American Human Rights Court, which it ordered: (i) to stop the attacks on RCTV journalists and compensate them for the harm done and (ii) restore RCTV's television signal, nonetheless now it has closed down one of its radio stations in a clear act of abuse and deviation of power and as a means of political retaliation for the independent editorial stance and for the denunciations that Radio Caracas Radio has made public against the Venezuela government

WHEREAS this unlawful action against Emisora Caracas 92.9 FM is added to the shutdown in the last hours on the same August 25, of the independent radio station MAGICA 99.1 FM in Caracas by Conatel, and the recent ban on broadcasting in Venezuelan territory ordered on the RCNTV and Caracol channels of Colombia

WHEREAS the Venezuelan government has manipulated the distribution and sale of newsprint so as to prevent the circulation of newspapers critical of its governance and has already shut down a significant number of television and radio stations that are privately owned and have an independent editorial stance (RCTV, CNN, NTN24 and several stations of the Belfort National Circuit, among others), all with the clear aim of silencing dissident voices and eliminating the right to freedom of expression in Venezuela, by implementing a strategy to maintain a dictatorial regime that could continue acting outside the rule of law, of the Venezuelan Constitution, of treaties regarding human rights and of the most elemental democratic principles


to condemn the systematic policy of the Venezuelan government against the free practice of journalism and its constant violation of human rights

to condemn the shutdown of and unlawful sanctions against independent news media in Venezuela

to ask the Organization of American States that through its institutional, diplomatic and legal instruments it call upon the Venezuelan government to comply with its international commitments, respect human rights, respect the decisions issued by the Inter-American Human Rights Court and restore the signal to those media prevented from broadcasting in Venezuelan territory

to denounce this situation before the competent international bodies, including the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS).