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Miami Herald editor in Venezuela seeking reporter's release

A top editor for the Miami Herald has arrived in Venezuela to seek the release of a reporter for the US daily who was detained here earlier this week.

John Yearwood, who heads the newspaper’s international section, is in Caracas to obtain the release of American reporter Jim Wyss, who was arrested for unknown reasons while reporting on Venezuela’s chronic shortages and forthcoming municipal elections, the newspaper said.

The Herald wrote on its website Saturday that Wyss “remains in custody but is expected to be released over the weekend.”

“The Herald’s World Editor John Yearwood flew to Caracas Saturday morning to usher Wyss out of the country. US embassy officials in Caracas also are working on his release,” executive editor Aminda Marques Gonzalez said in an article on the daily’s website.

“We are eager to bring this issue to a close,” she said.

“Our main concern continues to be his safety and welfare. We are working on all fronts to secure his release and are optimistic it will happen soon.”

The Herald said Wyss was detained by Venezuela’s National Guard on Thursday, before being transferred to the Military Intelligence Directorate in the western city of San Cristobal.

The United States and Venezuela have been without mutual ambassadors since 2010, and Caracas kicked out the US charge d’affaires in October, leading Washington to reciprocate.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who faces a key test of his fledgling presidency with municipal elections in December, is a firebrand anti-US populist in the mold of his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez.

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