Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and members of his crew were temporarily detained in Caracas, Venezuela, after asking dictator Nicolas Maduro questions he “didn’t like” in an interview, according to the network.
Univision reported in a tweet Monday evening that Maduro abruptly detained six of its reporters, including Ramos, at the Miraflores Palace, but have since been released. The network said the reporters’ equipment was confiscated before they were allowed to leave.
— Univision News (@UnivisionNews) February 26, 2019
Earlier Monday evening, Kimberly Breier, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, confirmed that the State Department received news of Ramos and his team’s detainment at Maduro’s palace and called for their immediate release, before adding “the world is watching.”
.@StateDept has received word the journalist @jorgeramosnews and his team are being held against their will at Miraflores Palace by Nicolas Maduro. We insist on their immediate release; the world is watching. #Venezuela
— Kimberly Breier (@WHAAsstSecty) February 26, 2019
The development came as the Trump administration announced new sanctions Monday on allies of Maduro amid its struggles to find new ways to boost his opponent after an effort to deliver humanitarian aid to the economically devastated nation faltered amid strong resistance from security forces loyal to the socialist leader.
Vice President Mike Pence arrived in the Colombian capital for an emergency summit of regional leaders to discuss the deepening crisis and immediately met with Juan Guaido, the opposition leader the U.S. and 50 other nations recognize as Venezuela’s rightful president.
In a speech, Pence urged regional partners to freeze oil assets controlled by Maduro, transfer the proceeds to Guaido, and restrict visas for Maduro’s inner circle. He said the U.S. was imposing more sanctions on four pro-government governors, including a close Maduro ally who negotiated the release of an American jailed for more than two years.
“It’s time to do more,” Pence said. “The day is coming soon when Venezuela’s long nightmare will end, when Venezuela will once more be free, when her people will see a new birth of freedom, in a nation reborn to libertad.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.