USA television network Univision said on Monday Venezuela was deporting a 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.
Shortly before 9 p.m. ET, Coronell confirmed that Ramos and his team were released.
"StateDept has received word the journalist @jorgeramosnews and his team are being held against their will at Miraflores Palace by Nicolas Maduro". The United States backed an alternate leader, 35-year-old Juan Guaidó, last month, and Maduro responded by severing diplomatic ties.
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At least seven foreign journalists who flew in to cover the turmoil were briefly detained in January.
"According to Rodriguez, Jorge Ramos insulted Maduro and that's why they took that decision, " Janiot said.
The president stopped the interview after being shown a video of young Venezuelans eating from a garbage truck. "The equipment and the material of the interview that [Nicolas Maduro] disliked were confiscated", he said. "They think the interview is theirs and not ours".
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Ramos' daughter, Paola, tweeted shortly after the incident that she had spoken to her father. He said they were scheduled to leave on a midday flight to Miami. More than 50 foreign countries, including the USA and Canada, have recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela. Washington earlier on Monday targeted Venezuela with new sanctions and called on allies to freeze assets of its state-owned oil company PDVSA. Many other nations, including the US, recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela's new leader.
Then, one of Maduro's ministers said the interview wasn't authorized and the news crew, including Ramos and five other journalists, were put into separate dark rooms and questioned.
Kimberly Breier, the State Department's assistant secretary in the bureau of Western hemisphere affairs, tweeted that the State Department had been told of the detention and "insist on their immediate release; the world is watching".
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