Disturbing news from Caracas tonight as the U.S. State Department confirms that Univision reporter Jorge Ramos and his crew were held against their will for a time today by Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro at his Mireflores Castle.
Univision reported that its veteran journalist and crew were “being arbitrarily detained” after the embattled leader objected to questions Ramos asked him. Colombian journalist Daniel Coronell, President of News for Univision in the U.S., confirmed via Twitter that Ramos and his team have been released after having their phones and equipment confiscated.
Coronell tweeted that he had spoken with Ramos, who told him that he and his team had been freed.
Madura and his government have been under increasing international pressure amid protests and hyperinflation in the South American country. The Donald Trump administration publicly opposes his regime, officially recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s leader. With Trump en route to Vietnam for his second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Vice President Mike Pence today assured Guaidó that the U.S. government is with you 100 percent.”
Ramos likely remains best known in the U.S. for his fiery exchange with then-candidate Trump during a news conference in August 2015. The reporter was trying to press the newly announced GOP White House hopeful about his immigration policies when Trump said, “Excuse me, sit down! Sit down! No you don’t, you haven’t been called – go back to Univision.” Ramos could be heard telling Trump he had the right to ask a question, and then a large guard escorted the reporter from the room. He was allowed to return about 10 minutes later.