Venezuela's Juan Guaido Arrives for National Assembly Session

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The German Foreign Office confirmed the diplomat's expulsion: "Daniel Kriener has been declared a persona non grata".

"Completely unacceptable for @NicolasMaduro and his thugs to detain @WPLGLocal10's Cody Weddle for reporting on the successful return of the legitimate Venezuelan President @jguaido." said Scott in a Twitter post. It gave Kriener 48 hours to leave the country.

Maduro, meanwhile, pressed his supporters to hold "anti-imperialist" marches Saturday to counter fresh protests planned by Guaido.

The ambassador, Daniel Kriener, had been among a group of U.S., Latin American and European diplomats who greeted opposition leader Juan Guaido at Caracas' airport on Monday as he returned to the country after a 10-day trip overseas, defying warnings that he might be arrested. She says she hasn't spoken to him but has messaged him on Facebook.

The U.S. State Department said it's aware of a missing journalist and warned President Nicolas Maduro's government that the world is watching.

Mr Maduro, who won reelection to a second term in an election widely seen as a sham, insists he is the victim of a coup.

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

Weddle, 29, has been a freelance journalist in Caracas for four years, producing TV and print content for, among others, ABC News, Canadian Broadcast Corp. and the Miami Herald.

Guaido also said Maduro had effectively been ignoring him since his return to Venezuela in hopes that his political momentum will fade.

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Venezuela broke off diplomatic ties with neighbouring Colombia after Maduro's security forces blocked a February 23 attempt by Guaido and allies to bring humanitarian aid into Venezuela from Colombia and Brazil.

An American citizen who working as a journalist in Venezuela has been freed after being detained by security forces early Wednesday.

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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.

Local 10 reporter Cody Weddle has been detained by government officials in Venezuela and is now in custody.

The United States slapped sanctions on Venezuela's vital oil industry in January to try to cut off government revenue and force Maduro out, and pledged further action on Wednesday.

Espacio Publico, a Caracas-based media advocacy group, said 49 media workers have been detained in Venezuela over the past two months in a sign of an eroding environment of free speech. The U.S. visas of other Venezuelan officials and their relatives have been revoked.

But Maduro has continued to defy the Trump administration.

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