EDIT: Weddle was released at around the time that this updated was posted.

The Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Prensa (National Press Workers’ Union, SNTP) revealed early this morning that U.S. journalist Coddy Weddle and his assistant, Carlos Camacho, were arrested in Caracas at approximately 8:00 AM local time by the Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar (General Directorate for Military Counterintelligence, DGCIM).

According to the SNTP, DGCIM officers raided Weddle’s home, and aside from arresting him “took his work equipment” as well.

At approximately 4:50 PM local time, the SNTP provided an update confirming that Weddle and Camacho were being held in the DGCIM’s Caracas headquarters and that they were being interrogated, but that the DGCIM was not providing any details regarding their arrest.

Shortly before 7:30 PM, the SNTP confirmed that Camacho had been released, but said that Weddle was still in custody.

News of the journalists’ reaction gained a response from NGOs as well as the the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, who called for Weddle’s “immediate release”.

Kimberly Breier, an official with the U.S. Department of State, tweeted the following response:

Weddle’s work has been featured on ABC, CBC, the Miami Herald, the Telegraph, and South Florida’s WPLG Local 10 News.

36 journalists have been arrested in Venezuela so far this year.

Bloomberg: Plan By Exiled Soldiers to Fight Their Way Into Venezuela Aborted

Bloomberg reported today that a plan by 200 exiled Venezuelan soldiers living in Colombia to fight their way back into the country was brought to an end by the government of Colombia.

According to Bloomberg, the “heavily armed” soldiers are under the command of dissident general Cliver Alcala. The men were ready to punch a hole through the Venezuelan border to ensure the delivery of the humanitarian aid convoy that failed to reach the country last February 23.

According to Bloomberg:

The plan was stopped by the Colombian government, which learned of it late and feared violent clashes at a highly public event it promised would be peaceful.

Maduro Expels German Ambassador

Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza announced this morning that Daniel Kriener, the German ambassador to Venezuela, was being declared persona non grata and that he had 48 hours to leave the country.

In his tweet, Arreaza claimed that Kriener was engaged in activities that “interfere” with Venezuela’s affairs. Part of the statement expelling Kriener reads:

Venezuela considers it unacceptable that a foreign diplomatic representative plays a public role more fitting a politician in clear alignment with the conspiratorial agenda of extreme factions of the Venezuelan opposition.

Two days ago, Kriener was one of several foreign ambassadors who awaited Juan Guaido’s return at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetia.

The German government reacted by saying that it was “consulting with allies” about how to react to the expulsion.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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