Venezuela releases American journalist after full day in custody

Venezuela releases American journalist after full day in custody

Venezuela releases American journalist after full day in custody

Weddle's last on-air report Monday focused on the return of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó to the country.

He told reporters in Berlin on that "there was information that he (Guaido) was meant to be arrested there, and I think the presence of various ambassadors contributed to helping prevent this arrest".

"We can confirm that Ambassador Daniel Kriener has been declared 'persona non grata, '" it said.

Maduro, meanwhile, pressed his supporters to hold "anti-imperialist" marches Saturday to counter fresh protests planned by Guaido. He has lived in Venezuela since 2014 and worked as a stringer for ABC News, the CBC of Canada, the Miami Herald and The Telegraph in Britain.

Phil Gunson, a political consultant at the International Crisis Group, suggested on Twitter that the incident could strain already tense relations between the United States and Venezuela.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called the move "an incomprehensible decision, which escalates the situation instead of easing tensions".

American journalist Cody Weddle speaks in Caracas, Venezuela, January 2019 in this picture grab obtained from a social media video.

Trump's Venezuela envoy Elliott Abrams-whose role in USA -backed massacres and genocide and Latin America during the 1980s has come under scrutiny since his appointment in January-said during a Senate subcommittee hearing on Thursday that the administration is planning to "expand the net" of sanctions against Venezuelan institutions.

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"President Donald Trump and other senior United States (U.S.) officials have generated alarm in Venezuela and throughout the region with actions and statements-such as the recent threat that "all options are on the table"-which indicate a pursuit of American military-led regime change", reads the letter".

Guaido said Kriener's expulsion will be seen "as a threat to the free world".

A Caracas-based American reporter who freelances for South Florida news outlets was released Wednesday after being detained in Venezuela by the embattled government of Nicolas Maduro.

"We will be sanctioning some in the days and weeks to come", the official said, hours after White House national security adviser John Bolton warned foreign banks they could face sanctions if they participated in transactions benefiting Maduro.

The move brings to more than 250 the number of Venezuelans targeted by U.S. visa bans, a State Department official told AFP.

Many Venezuelan parents send children across the busy border, believing they will get a better education there.

His last tweet since his disappearance shows him reporting to WPLG about Guaido's return to Caracas. Kriener and other diplomats greeted opposition leader Juan Guaido when he returned to Venezuela on Monday and vowed to intensify his campaign to topple the Maduro government. 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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