American Journalist Cody Weddle Taken Into Custody By Venezuelan Forces

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro visits Complejo Siderurgico de Guayana in Ciudad Guayana Venezuela

Cody was seized by security forces at his apartment in Caracas, Venezuela, early Wednesday, amid Venezuela's escalating political turmoil, lawyers and press freedom groups said.

"We demand the release of the American journalist, Cody Weddle, who was kidnapped by a regime that usurps functions and tries, without success, to hide the truth of what is happening in our country", Guaido wrote.

At 6:40 a.m. Wednesday, four heavily armed agents from Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's military counterintelligence service arrived at US journalist Cody Weddle's apartment in Caracas with a search order.

Guaido, the 35-year-old National Assembly leader, who is recognised as interim president by more than 50 countries including Germany, defied a government travel ban to slip out of the country on February 23.

A German foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed Venezuela had expelled the ambassador and that the ministry was consulting with its allies on how to respond, according to Reuters.

Both men were interrogated, Ruiz said. Upon his release afterwards, Weddle said: "They wanted to know about the work I did, who I worked with".

"And from that perspective, the European Union hopes that this decision can be reconsidered", Kocijancic said. Ramos and the crew members were released a few hours later, but their equipment, cellphones and interview material were confiscated, according to Univision spokesman Jose Zamora.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy to Venezuela told Catholic News Service the embassy was aware of the arrest but could not share information. "He said he's fine", she said.

The possible USA sanctions against financial institutions working with Venezuela are the tools aimed at imposing a blockade on resources belonging to Venezuelans, the South American country's Deputy Foreign Minister, William Castillo, said. "Are you OK?'" she said.

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

White House national security adviser John Bolton announced that the US was "putting foreign financial institutions on notice that they will face sanctions for being involved in facilitating illegitimate transactions that benefit Nicolas Maduro and his corrupt network". "US citizen & journalist Cody Weddle is missing in Venezuela and apparently arrested by the Maduro regime this morning", he tweeted.

"It appears I will not be coming back to Venezuela, but maybe I can tell the story from somewhere else", Weddle said.

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