A Univision Media team led by Jorge Ramos was detained at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday, according to Univision. They were reportedly in the process of interviewing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro when Maduro had them detained because “he didn’t like the questions,” Univision said. They have since been released.
Kimberly Breier, the White House Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, tweeted confirming that the team was detained.
In addition to Ramos, those detained included María Martínez, Claudia Rondón, Francisco Urreiztieta, Juan Carlos and Martín Guzmán.
According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, Ramos’ phone was reportedly confiscated while he was on the phone with Univision’s Jose Zamora. (Univision Communications Inc. is Gizmodo Media Group’s parent company. Ramos’ weekly column runs on Splinter.)
CPJ Americas, an organization that advocates for journalists in the Americas, tweeted demanding that Ramos and the team be released immediately.
Shortly before 9 p.m. ET, however, Univision confirmed that Ramos and the crew had been released.
Venezuela is in the midst of an increasingly tense political situation. Opposition party leader Juan Guaidó declared himself the leader of the country last month amidst mass protests against Maduro’s government. The U.S. subsequently recognized Guaidó as the official leader of the country, a move that was followed by allies in Europe and South America.
As the situation has progressed, and tensions mounted, the Trump administration has repeatedly suggested that they are considering military intervention in the country.
Last weekend, opposition groups backed by the U.S. were stopped while attempting to deliver humanitarian aid through the country’s border with Colombia. Two people were killed in the clash.
Update, 9:20 pm:
Univision posted a photo of Ramos speaking on the phone after his release from detainment this evening.
Update, 10:43 pm:
Marcelo Ebrard C., the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, has issued a statement on Twitter condemning the detention of Ramos and the Univision team.
This story is evolving and will be updated as more information becomes available.