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US Press Group Criticizes Cuba - 2003-10-16

The Inter-American Press Association says freedom of the press is under attack throughout the Western Hemisphere, but that journalists face the most restrictions in Cuba.

The Inter-American Press Association is a Miami-based organization that represents newspapers throughout the Western Hemisphere. A statement issued following its annual meeting held this year in Chicago singled out Cuba, for jailing 28 journalists earlier this year as part of a crackdown against dissidents. The statement says censorship by the communist government is absolute.

The IAPA also criticized the government of Venezuela saying government proposals to nationalize media outlets are a threat to press freedom.

The group says journalists face regular threats of violence in other countries in the region such as Colombia and Haiti, noting that ten journalists have been killed in the region in the past six months, five in Colombia, four in Brazil and one in Guatemala.

The IAPA also says new anti-terrorism laws in the U.S. Patriot Act may also put restrictions on reporters working in the United States.