US news station Univision has confirmed that its team was briefly detained in Venezuela’s presidential palace over an interview between famous journalist Jorge Ramos and former president Nicolas Maduro.
The news station revealed that the team was detained when Ramos made some questions that bothered the former president. The incident happened when Ramos showed a video of Venezuelans eating from a garbage truck.
The team was deported earlier today but they have revealed that their equipment was confiscated. Univision said the six members of the team were released after three hours but that their equipment had not been brought back.
Mr. Ramos, who is one of the most popular journalists of the news station, is not a stranger to making tough and controversial questions to presidents. Back in 2015, he was removed from a Trump event after asking a question.
Mr. Ramos recently spoke on Univision and said that Mr. Maduro had not like some of the questions that he had made. The journalist said that the questions that he didn’t like had to do with the lack of democracy in the country, political prisoners, humanitarian crisis and torture.
The journalist said that the former president got up when he showed him videos of people eating from a garbage truck. He says he also told Mr. Maduro that millions of Venezuelans and many governments see him as a dictator.
It is not the first time that the government detains journalists. In recent years, local and foreign reporters have accused the government of taking their equipment or forcing them to delete all the content. Some were detained last month during the protests and events held by the opposition.
Mr. Maduro and many PSUV officials have repeatedly denied that there is a humanitarian crisis in the South American nation. The UN and other organizations have estimated that millions of Venezuelans have fled the country in the last four years.
The crisis has sent millions of people to nearby countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Ecuador. Some PSUV officials have suggested that the pictures and videos of the crisis are staged and that people are not leaving at the rate that the UN and others estimate.
The situation in the country has left Venezuelans with little food and medicine. The shortages continue to get worse but Mr. Maduro refuses to allow the humanitarian aid. On February 23, interim president Juan Guaido attempted to bring in humanitarian aid but three of the trucks were burned after crossing the border. Some of the aid was saved by those who were standing near the trucks.
Mr. Maduro and other PSUV officials accuse the US of using the aid to remove him from power. Mr. Guaido has announced a second attempt to bring the humanitarian aid. He recently met with the Lima Group to discuss the situation.
Mr. Maduro has challenged Guaido to a presidential election but the opposition plans to hold one after changes are made to the electoral council, which has been accused of being extremely biased in favor of the PSUV party. Mr. Maduro won a presidential election last year but that was boycotted by the opposition. The results brought doubts since the numbers were very good for Maduro, whose approval rating was said to be at an all-time low before the election.
The UN Security Council is set to hold a meeting later today to discuss the situation in the South American nation.