Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Jorge Ramos, Univision anchorman, detained in Venezuela

Lead Nick Paton Walsh Venezuela Live Jake Tapper_00002905 Journalist Jorge Ramos, Univision Crew Reportedly Detained in Venezuela
Leonard Rios | 28 February, 2019, 05:51

Venezuela on Tuesday deported a USA television network Univision news team led by anchor Jorge Ramos after they were briefly detained at the presidential palace because their line of questioning upset President Nicolas Maduro. The network's president of news, Daniel Coronell, later confirmed that Ramos and his crew were released, but that the Maduro regime still confiscated their equipment and the interview footage.

After arriving back at his Caracas hotel, which was surrounded by armed intelligence agents, Ramos told reporters that Maduro said he did not like the line of questioning.

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.

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.

According to Ramos, Maduro tried to grab his iPad and as he walked away, Ramos told him he was not behaving like a president, but like a dictator. They left on a midday flight to Miami, according to Reuters witnesses.

"They didn't give us our equipment, nor our material", he said.

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Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez defended the treatment of Ramos and his crew by claiming his government has entertained "hundreds of journalists" who have received "decent treatment", but he accused the Univision host of attempting to stage a "cheap show" at the behest of the U.S. State Department.

Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, said Moscow had agreed to a United States proposal to hold talks in Venezuela - a Russian ally - but that the United States had postponed them on "false pretenses". Ramos said he was detained for two hours.

Around 6:00 a.m. today, Ultreras tweeted that the crew was being taken to the airport in bulletproof vehicles for security reasons, accompanied by diplomatic personnel from the US and Mexico embassies.

The Committee to Protect Journalists released a statement on Tuesday afternoon condemning the detention.

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. "Their technical equipment was also confiscated".

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