Journalist Jorge Ramos and his Univision crew were briefly “arbitrarily detained” at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas following an interview with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, according to the Univision News Twitter account Monday, after Maduro reportedly did not like the questions he was asked.
Univision also said the team’s technical equipment was taken away. Kimberly Breier, the State Department’s assistant secretary in the bureau of Western hemisphere affairs, tweeted that the State Department had been told of the detention and “insist on their immediate release; the world is watching.”
Less than an hour and a half later, Univision News chief Daniel Coronell tweeted that Ramos and his team had been released, though their equipment and material that Maduro did not like were confiscated.
Univision posted a photo of Ramos safely at his hotel after being released.
Earlier Monday in Bogota, Colombia, Vice President Pence unveiled new U.S. sanctions against Venezuelan officials and called upon neighboring leaders to freeze the assets of Venezuela’s state-run oil company, PDVSA.
According to NPR, Pence said that those who back Maduro over opposition leader and self-declared president Juan Guaidó “will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You will lose everything.”
“The illegitimate Maduro regime’s attempts to blockade international aid intended for the Venezuelan people are shameful,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a separate statement Monday. “Treasury is targeting four state governors aligned with former President Maduro for standing in the way of severely needed humanitarian assistance and prolonging the suffering of the Venezuelan people. The United States fully supports the efforts of Interim President Juan Guaidó to address the endemic corruption, human rights abuses, and violent repression that has become the hallmark of the illegitimate Maduro regime, and looks forward to the restoration of a democratically elected government for the people of Venezuela.”