Jorge Ramos, Univision anchorman, detained in Venezuela

Saul Bowman
February 28, 2019

The Univision news crew briefly detained in Venezuela Monday angered embattled President Nicolas Maduro when they showed him a video of young people eating from a garbage truck amid a widespread food shortage in the country.

Daniel Coronell, Univision's president of news, tweeted that "Jorge Ramos and his team have been released and are on route to their hotel". After that, Maduro interrupted the interview and Information Minister Jorge Rodríguez went to Ramos and told him that the interview wasn't "authorized".

Kimberly Breier, assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, said the State Department welcomed the released of Ramos and his colleagues. And they confiscated all of our equipment.

Univision said Monday that Ramos and his team were being "arbitrarily" held at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas but that Maduro didn't "like their questions" during a scheduled interview.

Venezuela's government has accused Washington of attempting to orchestrate a coup.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told Fox Business Network earlier that while the Trump administration hopes for a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela, "all options are on the table". "They turned off the lights", he said.

Ramos and his team left the hotel on Tuesday morning guarded by personnel from the US and Mexican embassies while intelligence agents escorted them to Caracas' Maiquetia airport.

In Caracas, the Venezuelan National Union of the Press Workers also confirmed that "the Univision team has been freed".

According to Coronell, the material is now in the hands of government officials.

Ramos called the episode a "violation" and said Maduro's aides still had the tapes: "They have stolen our work and are trying to keep what is happening from airing", he said.

The crisis in Venezuela escalated over the weekend when pro-Maduro forces, including the military, police and gangs, blocked shipments of humanitarian aid from crossing into the country from Colombia.

Ramos and his team was released at 9 p.m., but Univision reported SEBIN intelligence agents kept them under surveillance even while they were with USA and Mexican diplomatic personnel.

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