Free Cody Weddle, Miami Channel Journalist Detained in Venezuela

 Miami, – The local television channel 10, of Miami (Florida), informed on Wednesday of the liberation of its journalist Cody Weddle, supposedly detained by the Venezuelan military counterintelligence.

Weedle is already at the Simón Bolívar International Airport, which serves Caracas, waiting to board a plane with a return to the United States, said the aforementioned newspaper.

Officials of the Venezuelan government had previously released, this afternoon, the Venezuelan Carlos Camacho, assistant to the American reporter.

Juan Guaidó, head of the Venezuelan Parliament recognized by numerous governments, including the United States, as interim president of the country, had demanded the release of Weddle, whose arrest he labeled as “kidnapping,” the newspaper said.

Agents of the Venezuelan intelligence service entered the Weddle apartment in Caracas in the morning and took him and Camacho to the headquarters of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim), where they were interrogated.

The Local 10 channel had tried to locate Weddle all day without success.

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, had requested Wednesday the “immediate” release of Weddle, and in the same sense the US State Department issued a statement.

The Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America and the Caribbean, Kimberly Breier, wrote on Twitter that the US he was “deeply concerned” about the information about Weddle’s arrest.

In addition, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the detention of Weddle and his assistant, Camacho, and demanded the immediate release of both.

The president of the SIP, María Elvira Domínguez, and Roberto Rock, president of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, demanded “guarantees for the physical security of the two press workers and their immediate release.”

Weddle, who has resided in Caracas since 2014, works for the English channel of Miami WPLG Local10 (Channel 10) reporting on the political crisis in Venezuela. Camacho, his assistant, is of Venezuelan nationality, said the SIP, based in Miami.

The allegations of abuses against journalists have increased after last January the political crisis in Venezuela was triggered by the decision of the head of Parliament, Juan Guaidó, to proclaim himself as interim president of the country by considering Maduro illegitimate.

Dominguez and Rock reported in the statement the increase in repression against the press in recent months in Venezuela, where, according to the organization Espacio Público, some 49 reporters have been briefly detained this year and seven were deported.

“It is a serious act of censorship of a regime that disrespects freedom of expression and the press and pursues, harasses and seeks to crush free and independent information,” said Dominguez and Rock, who are in the US capital to advocate freedom of expression and democracy in Nicaragua.

Last week, a team from the Hispanic channel Univisión was detained for more than two hours at the Miraflores presidential palace after an interview with President Nicolás Maduro.

The star presenter of the chain, Jorge Ramos, and his production team, who were deported the day after being detained, reported that the authorities stole their equipment and interviewed Maduro.

More than a dozen journalists from France, Chile, Colombia and the United States have been arrested and some expelled from Venezuela in recent weeks. (EFEUSA)


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