Venezuela expels German ambassador for backing Guaido

Cody Weddle's sister, Kelsey McMahan, told Bristol Herald Courier that she believes the country's authorities arrested him at 8 a.m. that morning after raiding his home in Caracas. Weddle's Venezuelan colleague Carlos Camacho was also arrested, Venezuela's National Press Workers Union said on Twitter, adding that the government has arrested 36 journalists this year.

A reporter for KPRC's partner station in Miami was detained Wednesday in Venezuela. Many were released after a few hours, although at least one reporter, German-born Billy Six, has been held since November on what his family says are trumped-up charges of spying.

Maduro, who is fending off mounting global pressure to cede power to the opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó, detained two French journalists in January who were filming outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas.

"We are working through various channels to get as much information as we can and to see that Cody is released", said WPLG President & CEO E. R. Bert Medina.

The move, which came a week after Venezuela deported a team from US television network Univision, drew condemnation from Organization of American States Secretary-General Luis Almagro and Florida Senator Rick Scott.

Weddle becomes the latest journalist to be detained by the embattled Venezuelan president as the crisis to deliver humanitarian aid to the country's residents escalates.

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The North Korean leader struck a largely hopeful note, saying "I believe by intuition that good results will be produced". They responded to questions from reporters at about 11 a.m. local time.

At about 7 a.m. Wednesday, a group of armed men, majority dressed in black, approached Weddle's Caracas apartment building, said Florangel Manzo, 49, the president of the condominium board. "He said he's fine", she said.

The officers emerged two hours later with the Virginia-born Weddle carrying a large suitcase and equipment bag.

They tried to pressure Weddle into generating some pro-Maduro propaganda as well, guiding his answers while they videotaped his responses.

The pursuing new diplomatic and economic initiatives to support Guaido's bid for a transitional government in Venezuela, National Security Adviser John Bolton said Wednesday.

"It appears I will not be coming back to Venezuela, but maybe I can tell the story from somewhere else", Weddle said. "We demand the journalist's immediate release, unharmed", Kimberly Breier, assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, said in a posting on Twitter.

As Weddle's detention was unfolding, the United States announced another round of punitive actions against the Venezuelan government.

  • Sonia Alvarado