Strong condemnation of the IAPA for a new escalation of attacks against Venezuelan media

We will insist with our complaint before the intergovernmental organizations and democratic governments of the region

Miami (January 11, 2021).- The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed its strongest condemnation on the systematic violation of press freedom by the Nicolás Maduro regime. The organization reacted in response to the new escalation of attacks against independent media in Venezuela.

"Although we are used to the barbarism of the regime against press freedom, we cannot stop condemning this new wave of aggressions and attacks by the Venezuelan government with the intention of continuing to silence independent media and journalists," said Jorge Canahuati, president of the IAPA and CEO of Grupo Opsa, based in Honduras. He added, "The regime always takes resort to the diversion of attention caused by other events, such as the installation of its own controversial Legislative Assembly, to try to act with impunity against press freedom."

In the most recent attack, on January 8, the press office in Caracas of the Digital TV channel VPITV, was dismantled during a joint operation between the telecommunications regulator, CONATEL, and the tax collection entity, SENIAT. From its headquarters in Miami, the directive of the digital media company denounced the seizure of transmission equipment, cameras and computers, among other work implements. In addition, that same day the digital medium Tal Cual suffered a cyberattack.

"We cannot lower our guard," said Carlos Jornet, president of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, in the face of the new attacks. The director of the newspaper La Voz del Interior, from Córdoba, Argentina, added: "We will insist with our complaint before the intergovernmental organizations and democratic governments of the region, so that no one is left without condemning this regime that continues to systematically violate the principles on freedom of the press expressed in the Inter-American Democratic Charter and other international documents that identify freedom of expression and of the press as essential foundations of free societies".

In other relevant events, the Maracaibo daily Panorama was sanctioned for five days by the SENIAT, which put the newspaper's website out of operation since January 7. The regime also accused the media Efecto Cocuyo, Caraota Digital, El Pitazo and Radio Fe y Alegría, of being "mercenaries of journalism" and receiving foreign funding to overthrow the government. Following the indictment, the radio station in the state of Monagas was raided and it broadcasting equipment stolen.

In its latest resolution on Venezuela, the IAPA, after a detailed report of more than a hundred attacks against journalists and independent media in recent months, called for condemning the regime's systematic violation of freedom of expression and of the press, and demanding the end of the criminalization of journalistic activity.

IAPA is a non-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 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.