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U.S. Reporter Arrested in Venezuela by Maduro's Military

U.S. Reporter Arrested in Venezuela by Maduro's Military

Lawyers and press freedom groups say Venezuelan security forces have seized a USA journalist at his apartment amid the country's escalating political turmoil.

"We demand the release of American journalist Cody Weddle, who was abducted by a regime that usurps functions and tries, unsuccessfully, to hide the truth of what is happening in our country", he wrote.

Venezuelan authorities released Local 10 reporter Cody Weddle on Wednesday night, more than 10 hours after agents took him from his Caracas apartment.

The U.S.is among more than 50 governments to recognize Juan Guaido as interim president, arguing that Maduro's re-election previous year was illegitimate.

President Nicolas Maduro's autocratic regime has arrested 36 journalists and press workers this year, including Weddle and Camacho, according to STNP.

Weddle, 29, had been working for the Florida television station and had just published a report on Monday about self-declared interim president Juan Guaido's "triumphant return" to Caracas. The U.S. chargé d'affaires to Venezuela has not responded to a request for comment.

Juan Guaido strongly condemned the decision by President Maduro to expel the German ambassador to Caracas, and urged the envoy to "remain" in Venezuela.

The move against Weddle anxious several Venezuela analysts, who see little logic to Maduro's authoritarian attacks against individual journalists.

Both men were interrogated, Ruiz said.

At about 7 a.m. Wednesday, a group of armed men, a lot of them dressed in black, approached Weddle's Caracas apartment building, said Florangel Manzo, 49, the president of the condominium board.

He also said the European Union's support for Guaido would continue.

"They do this for one reason alone, to intimidate journalists from reporting on [Juan Guaido] & on conditions in Venezuela", he said.

"[I heard from him at] maybe about 6 or 7 yesterday evening and yesterday morning about 10", she said.

"Usually I get back: 'I'm fine".

She told the Miami ABC affiliate that she was relieved to learn her son had been let go. "Cody has been dedicated and committed to telling the story in Venezuela to our viewers", Medina said.

"Being a journalist is not a crime", spokesperson Kimberly Breier tweeted.

"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.

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