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Andrés Izarra

The Venezuelan Minister of Communication, Andrés Izarra, expressed the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s concern caused by "the relapse of the OAS Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression in trying to intervene into a domestic legislative process such as the debate on the Project for the Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and TV".

"We are concerned, but not surprised, because the position about Venezuela of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression has always been framed in a grave lack of impartiality", Izarra said.

The Ministry of Communication and Information highlighted the "odd" fact that this statement is released simultaneously with another one issued by the Inter-American Press Society (SIP, in Spanish), "an entity composed by media owners, to whom the statements of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression seem to be subordinated".

Izarra reminded some of the office’s background meddling measurements, such as the 2001 report about Freedom of Expression, in which there was not any sort of evidence. Besides, Venezuelan authorities were never informed about this report, which can be considered as an aggression to the Venezuelan people and institutions.

"We also remember when, during the phase prior to the April 2002 coup d’état, the Venezuelan media were devoted to violate every domestic and international regulation, by replacing all of their regular programmes to broadcast one after another messages that promoted hate, violence, civil war, destabilization of democratic institutions. This attitude of the Venezuelan media deserved a statement of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression to rebuke them and warn them that by taking such position they placed themselves out of the law. But, against any kind of legal reasoning, on april the 9th the Office issued a statement to denounce the Government", he pointed out.

The Venezuelan official added up that the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression has a "corporative" concept of Freedom of Expression and Right of Information. He reminded to the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Eduardo Bartoni, that both his vision and the SIP’s are against the American Convention on Humans Rights because "by means of that vision media are expected to continue misinforming people". He reminded to Bertoni that the International Criminal Court penalized the Media in Rwanda because they promoted violence and racial hate, which led to the genocide against the Tutsis. "In Venezuela they have also done this. The whole world witnessed the Media treachery against the democratic institutions. Only the Special Rapporteur is unaware of this".

Izarra ended by saying to the International Community that the "Bolivarian Constitution is an example of progress regarding the Human Rights issue, and the Project for the Law of Social Responsibility on Radio and TV is rigorously abided to the precepts contained in It and also to the regulations of the American Convention on Human Rights, which we are part of".