Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

Maduro's Military Detains, Releases U.S. Reporter and Aide

Venezuela expels German ambassador BREAKING: Venezuela expels German ambassador for backing Guaido
Andrew Cummings | 08 March, 2019, 01:47

In an interview with Telemundo Wednesday night, Pence reiterated the White House's support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, but said there is "no timeline" on the us push for regime change.

Venezuela on Wednesday declared German ambassador in Caracas persona non grata for meddling in its internal affairs and ordered he leave the country in 48 hours.

Earlier on Tuesday, Washington's top envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said slapping secondary sanctions against non-US citizens or entities with links to the Maduro regime was "clearly a possibility", but that no final decision had been made yet.

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared acting president Juan Guaido speaks to supporters during a rally to bring pressure to the military to allow in United States humanitarian aid, in eastern Caracas on 12 February 2019.

WPLG Local 10 News, a Miami television station that Weddle contributed to, reported on its website that management attempts to reach Weddle "have proven unsuccessful" and that his last contact with station employees was on Monday afternoon.

Weddle is the latest in a series of foreign journalists to be taken into custody in Venezuela.

A government statement said Kriener "showed up at Maiquetia worldwide airport to witness the arrival of the deputy in contempt of the country, Juan Guaido".

After the expulsion order, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he had chose to recall Kriener to Berlin for consultations.

"Venezuela lives under a dictatorship, and this way of proceeding is a threat to Germany", Guaido said.

Dozens of counties, including the US and Canada, have recognized Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate leader. Griffith said it's clear Maduro's forces are holding the journalist.

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Guaido said in a speech to opposition lawmakers that Kriener's expulsion 'must be taken as a threat to the free world'.

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Kriener and some other diplomats greeted Guaido when he returned to Venezuela on Monday and vowed to intensify his campaign to topple the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Meanwhile, journalist Cody Weddle, who worked in Venezuela for several years as a correspondent for a variety of United States media, "has been released after being detained by Venezuelan authorities", Miami's WPLG Local 10 News, which he reported for, said on Twitter.

"Our, Europe's, support for Juan Guaido is unbroken".

Officials at the State Department said they are aware of the journalist's detainment.

"We will be sanctioning some in the days and weeks to come".

His last tweet since his disappearance shows him reporting to WPLG about Guaido's return to Caracas.

Guaido had flouted a court-imposed travel ban to visit other Latin American countries to drum up support. The 35-year-old politician has pledged to set up a transitional government and hold new elections to unseat Maduro, who is backed by China, Russia and Turkey.

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