German ambassador to Venezuela declared persona non grata

BREAKING: Venezuela expels German ambassador for backing Guaido

Witnesses and colleagues say a USA journalist working in Venezuela has gone missing after security forces escorted him from his apartment. Malave said the journalist was questioned at the military counterintelligence headquarters and later was driven straight to the airport to be flown out of Venezuela.

It wasn't clear why he was detained.

The Venezuelan Ministry of Communication did not respond to the Herald's request for comment on the case.

A doorman at Cody Weddle's residence said a squad of five men wearing black uniforms demanded entry and left with the journalist in custody.

Lawmakers in both Florida and Virginia have called for Weddle's release.

The Venezuelan government on Wednesday ordered the German ambassador to leave the country after he expressed support for Juan Guaido, escalating a diplomatic standoff with a group of about 50 nations that recognize the opposition leader as the country's interim president.

The foreign ministry said Martin Kriener had 48 hours to leave following "interference" in Venezuela's internal affairs after he greeted Guaido at Caracas airport on his return to the country on Monday.

President Nicolas Maduro's autocratic regime has arrested 36 journalists and press workers this year, including Weddle and Camacho, according to STNP. He arrived in the country as an English-language correspondent for state-run network Telesur.




Weddle has become the latest journalist to be detained by the embattled Venezuelan president. He said officials provided no further details.

Venezuela's government released an American journalist and his local colleague on Wednesday, after they spent more than 12 hours in custody in a move that drew further worldwide condemnation of socialist President Nicolas Maduro's government.

His mother, Sherry, said the family was told of his capture by his contacts in Venezuela, including someone who was told by her Weddle's housekeeper.

WPLG, one of the outlets for which Weddle worked, added that he was at the main Caracas-area airport waiting for a USA -bound flight. The team's equipment was also seized.

Carlos Correa, director of Espacio Publico, said neighbors confirmed that the detention order came from a military court.

According to WPLG, his home in Caracas was the target of an early morning raid by authorities Wednesday. "He said he was fine and wanted to know how I was". "Are you OK?'" she said.

She told the Miami ABC affiliate that she was relieved to learn her son had been let go.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has been recognized as interim president by the USA and more than 50 other countries, arrived for a session of the opposition-led National Assembly, as a bitter political standoff with President Nicolas Maduro continues.

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