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Free-Press Group Criticizes Venezuela, Cuba, US


A U.S.-based press freedom organization has criticized Venezuela's growing restrictions on freedom of the press, Cuba's jailing of journalists and U.S. court pressure on reporters to reveal confidential sources.

The Inter American Press Association wrapped up its midyear meeting Sunday in Caracas with a statement that accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of using attacks and intimidation to curb criticism of his government.

Last year Mr. Chavez refused to renew the license of Radio Caracas Television and replaced it with a state-run channel that airs government propaganda.

The IAPA also said Cuba's detention of 25 journalists amounted to a demonstration of total intolerance.

The United States was singled out because of court cases where journalists were fined or jailed for refusing to divulge the identity of confidential sources.

The Inter-American Press Association held its first meeting in 1942. It monitors press freedom in the Americas. The group has members throughout the Americas, although many of its leaders are North American journalists.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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