Journalist Jorge Ramos' equipment seized at Maduro interview

by Garry Watts February 27, 2019, 0:40
Journalist Jorge Ramos' equipment seized at Maduro interview

"Attention: A @Univision team, headed by @jorgeramosnews, is being arbitrarily detained at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas", the network tweeted out on Monday evening.

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Maduro reportedly stopped the team's interview after Ramos showed footage of Venezuelan youths eating from a garbage truck and questioned the president about the country's spiraling humanitarian crisis.

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Venezuela's Government accuses the United States, which is openly pushing for Mr Maduro to step down, of attempting to orchestrate a coup. According to Zamora, Univision's news executives were able to find out what happened because "Jorge managed to call us".

Ramos, one of the most influential Spanish-speaking journalists in the US, told The Associated Press late Monday that Maduro cut short the interview after 17 minutes when he was shown video on an iPad shot a day earlier of young Venezuelans eating food scraps out of the back of a garbage truck. 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". But "in the middle of the call, they took his phone away", Zamora said.

Ramos and other Univision staffers had planned to interview Maduro at 2 p.m., but it was pushed back for hours. "They just said to us last night that we had been expelled from the country". After displaying the video, the Univision anchor said Maduro walked off the interview and summoned his communications minister, who told Ramos the interview had not been authorized. He said they were also forced to give up the passwords for their cellphones and were threatened with being taken to another location to be interrogated.

CNN reports that Daniel Coronell, Univision's president of news, confirmed the material is now in the hands of government officials.

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