The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) said today that American governments have the "historic obligation" to take actions leading to "a rapid and unwavering democratic transition" in Cuba and Venezuela.
The IAPA said in a proclamation in the framework of the Summit of the Americas, which will take place in Lima from April 13 and April 14, that the rulers of the region witness the "total deterioration of freedom of speech and press in Cuba and Venezuela, whose regimes continue to violate the human rights of their citizens."
The organization, based in Miami, stressed that in both countries "the essential principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter" are not respected, which "cannot remain as a decorative statement, but should be a call to action."
The IAPA recalled that already at the Panama Summit in 2015 it said that "the American governments had 'a historic opportunity' to reaffirm both totalitarian regimes that they should redirect their respect for those essential freedoms."
"Today we believe that they already have 'a historical obligation' to take concrete actions that, described in that Charter, lead to a rapid and unwavering democratic transition," the proclamation said.
The Inter-American agency acknowledged that in recent years the international community has been aware of the "deteriorated socio-political climate in Venezuela and that many countries have not recognized the Constituent Assembly nor recognize any leader that emerges from fraudulent elections."
Therefore, the IAPA urges that this consensus be used to "promote more drastic actions that do not allow the regime to try to perpetuate itself in power turning its back on the progress of its citizens."
Although no regional government is exempt from incurring situations of abuse, corruption and censorship, in those with "democratic systems with separation of powers, independent judges, transparency mechanisms and free press, the necessary counterweights are achieved," the agency added.
"The authoritarian regimes of Cuba and Venezuela are the antithesis of these values," said the IAPA, who believes that the Lima Summit's agenda, "Democratic governance against corruption," will allow presidents and heads of state to feel in the obligation to work for the citizens of Venezuela and Cuba. EFEUSA