Venezuela crisis: U.S. journalist RELEASED after he was reportedly detained in Caracas

Venezuela Guaido Urges Europe To Tighten Sanctions Against Maduro

Venezuela Guaido Urges Europe To Tighten Sanctions Against Maduro

The release was also announced by Senator Marco Rubio, a strident critic of the administration of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, whose leadership was challenged in January by National Assembly chief Juan Guaido, setting off an ongoing power struggle.

He said Weddle remained calm as the men packed some of his belongings into a suitcase and camera bag. There were concerns that the opposition leader might face detention, but Mr Maduro's government did not move against him. Maduro says he is victim of a USA -led coup attempt and "economic war".

Weddle had reported from Venezuela for more than four years, most recently working as a freelance journalist for the ABC affiliate in Miami, a stronghold of Venezuelan exiles, although he also contributed to the Miami Herald and The Telegraph in Britain.

Local 10 reported on Twitter that Weddle was questioned about a February 25 segment he had produced for them.

WPLG, one of the outlets for which Weddle worked, did not cite its sources on his release, but said his mother was "relieved" to learn the news.

Trump administration officials say there are no US plans to intervene militarily in the crisis in Venezuela. The government had not commented on his detention all day. "He must be released immediately and the USA will not stand for this kind of intimidation!"

"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.

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German Ambassador expelled from Venezuela after supporting 'interim President' Juan Guaido

US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams has said that Washington was considering imposing sanctions on third-party countries over their ties with Maduro's government.

However, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Wednesday that sanctions have worsened Venezuela's crippling economic and political crisis, which has forced 2.7 million people to flee since 2015.

The U.S., which says Maduro's presidency is illegitimate, said Wednesday he must free the reporters.

During the crisis, opposition lawmaker Juan Guaidó has risen as a credible threat to President Nicolás Maduro.

Venezuela has declared German ambassador in Caracas persona non grata on Wednesday, for interfering in its internal affairs and ordered his departure within 48 hours.

The European Union said Thursday it hopes Venezuela will reconsider its expulsion of the German ambassador as the EU seeks to maintain communication lines with the feuding sides.

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