ORGANIZED CRIME INSTITUTIONALIZED THE VIOLATION OF FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
By Carlos Sánchez Berzain*
The 3rd of May, a day dedicated throughout the world to celebrate Freedom of the Press, finds the Americas this year in a battle to remove from power the 21st Century Socialism’s, or Castroist Chavist, Transnational Organized Crime’s dictatorships that -amongst the commission of other crimes- are now ranked as having the greatest indicators of violation of the Freedom of the Press. There cannot be freedom of the press in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and in Correa’s Ecuador, because the dictators, through despicable legislation and their misuse of the Judicial Branch, institutionalized the violation of Freedom of the Press.
The United Nations’ General Assembly proclaimed the 3rd of May as the day to commemorate Worldwide Freedom of the Press Day with the objective of “promoting freedom of the press throughout the world by recognizing that a free, pluralist and independent press is an essential component of every democratic society” It is an acknowledgement of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that states “that every individual has the right to the freedom of opinion and expression”.
The Interamerican Democratic Charter highlights as the first essential component of democracy “the respect of the human rights and basic freedoms”. The American Convention on Human Rights in its Article 13.1 determines that “Every person has the right to the freedom of opinion and of expression. This right includes the freedom to; seek, receive, and disseminate information and ideas of all sorts, without any border restraints, whether this be orally, in writing, or by printed or artistic means, or by any other procedure of one’s own choosing”.
There is no doubt that freedom of the press, beyond being a human right and a basic freedom, is an essential component of democracy. Without freedom of the press there is no freedom of expression, without a free press there is no democracy and this is why the regimes who hold the power, such as; the Transnational Organized Crime’s groups in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia using the power they usurp, have institutionalized the violation to, and the absence of, the freedom of the press, substituting the freedom with manipulation and incurring in specific crimes.
To institutionalize something is to grant it the character of “institution”, meaning; to grant something the condition “of one of the fundamental organizations of a government, nation, or society” in this case in particular, to grant this character to the crime of modifying, suppressing, manipulating, and falsifying the facts, the news, the information, and the ideas in order to favor the dictators’ and their regimes’ indefinite tenure in power. The Castroist Chavist system has institutionalized the violation of the freedom of the press through “despicable laws” that are “guidelines prepared adhering to the formal rules for their drafting, but that in their purpose and content, they violate human rights and individuals’ basic freedoms.
Ample proof that the “violation of the freedom of the press is an institution of Castroist Chavist’s dictatorships” is given by the multiple and repeated crimes of intimidation, prosecution, sentencing, persecution, imprisonment, and exile of journalists from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia that are aggravated by the unsolved assassination of journalists whose only crime was to exercise their profession with freedom, denouncing the dictator’s and his surroundings’ corruption and/or crimes.
Further proof is seen in the subjugations, seizures, misappropriations, forced sales, extortions, and other different ways of depriving the legitimate owners of their owned means of communications in order to eliminate them or place them at the service of the regime. The abuse of power to manipulate the granting of licenses for radio and television, the changing of the rules and the conditions for concessions, supplanting existing legislation with other extortive measures, controlling and suppressing the provision of paper, are crimes and part of the dictatorial institutionalization against the freedom of the press. The extortion to give and pay for official propaganda is one other crime.
The absence of the separation and independence of the branches of government becomes evident in the case of the institutionalization to violate the freedom of the press through “the misuse of the judicial branch to criminalize the freedom of the press”. Prosecution and sentencing take those defenders of the right to have unrestrained information to jail and to exile, measures with which they restrict and even suppress their right to work in their profession.
Regimes from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador with Rafael Correa established with “despicable legislation” concrete guidelines to suppress the freedom of the press, “gag laws” that in Ecuador’s case are being modified in the government of President Moreno, but that are still in effect and are binding and applied in the regimes of Castro-Diaz Canel, Maduro, Ortega-Murillo, and Morales who recurrently commit crimes on a daily basis.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.
Published by infobae.com Sunday, May 5 2019
“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”
Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators’ Association, ATA # 234680.