Published: Fri, March 08, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

American journalist detained in Venezuela and no one has heard from him

American journalist detained in Venezuela and no one has heard from him

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

Earlier on Tuesday, Washington's top envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said slapping secondary sanctions against non-US citizens or entities with links to the Maduro regime was "clearly a possibility", but that no final decision had been made yet.

It comes after Germany was among the countries to recognise Maduro's rival, Juan Guaido, as the country's legitimate leader.

Weddle is a graduate of Virginia Tech University and his work has appeared in outlets such as the Miami Herald, WPLG-TV in Miami, the BBC and Al Jazeera English, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The measures imposed in January include sweeping sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil firm PDVSA, created to severely curb its crude exports to the USA, its top client.

Kriener has been given 48 hours to leave the country.

American journalist Cody Weddle speaks in Caracas, Venezuela, January 2019 in this picture grab obtained from a social media video.

The Venezuelan government believed that Washington's approval of Guaido as the country's interim leader aimed to oust the current administration, and open up its vast oil reserves as well as gold deposits to US corporations. Griffith said it's clear Maduro's forces are holding the journalist.

USA trade deficit hits 10-year high despite tariff war
An acceleration in economic growth a year ago from Mr Trump's debt-funded tax cuts helped to boost the appetite for foreign goods. That's partly because of a rush to import goods ahead of a potential additional tariff increase by the administration.

Tensions are escalating by the day in Venezuela, where USA -backed Guaido seeks to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido said Kriener's expulsion will be seen "as a threat to the free world".

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. "They were interested in a story I did about the current atmosphere in the armed forces".

"The United States is 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", Bolton said in a statement.

His supporters say his re-election was legal and have accused Mr Guaido of violating the constitution.

His last tweet since his disappearance shows him reporting to WPLG about Guaido's return to Caracas.

The United States yesterday demanded the immediate release of an American journalist, Cody Weddle, who was reportedly arrested by Venezuelan military intelligence in an early morning raid on his Caracas home. The 35-year-old politician has pledged to set up a transitional government and hold new elections to unseat Maduro, who is backed by China, Russia and Turkey.

Guaido, 35, returned home to a hero's welcome on Monday, having defied a ban on leaving the country to embark on a 10-day tour of South American allies.

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