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OAS head: Democracy goes beyond elections

June 3, 2007 at 7:00 PM

PANAMA CITY, Panama, June 2 (UPI) -- Democracy transcends elections and must include respect for rights and free speech, the secretary-general of the Organization of American States says.

Speaking ahead of the OAS General Assembly in Panama City Saturday, Jose Miguel Insulza noted that "for the first time in the Americas, there are elected democracies in all countries that actively participate in the OAS."

Insulza was asked to comment by several media outlets on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez' recent decision to pull independent TV channel RCTV from the airwaves for allegedly promoting unrest in the country.

The OAS head said he did not want the upcoming meetings to focus solely on the RCTV controversy.

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