A six-person team of journalists will be deported from Venezuela after upsetting President Nicolas Maduro during an interview at the presidential palace in Caracas, Reuters reports.
The journalists, who work for American Spanish-language television network Univision, were briefly detained at the presidential palace on Monday after Maduro said he did not like their questions, anchor Jorge Ramos said.
Maduro reportedly stopped the team’s interview after Ramos showed footage of Venezuelan youths eating from a garbage truck and questioned the president about the country’s spiraling humanitarian crisis.
The journalists They were later told that they needed to be at the airport early Tuesday morning for a flight to Miami.
In response to the incident, Venezuela’s Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez Tweeted that Venezuela had previously welcomed hundreds of journalists to the palace, but did not support “cheap shows.”
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Kimberly Breier said, “News of their detention & confiscation of their equipment by Maduro’s henchmen are the latest reminder that press freedom in #Venezuela applies only to those who are willing to spread the regime’s lies.”
It is not the first time that foreign journalists have faced trouble in Venezuela. At least seven journalists in the country to cover the presidential contest were detained in January, according to Reuters.
Venezuela has been in locked in a political standoff since Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself the interim president of Venezuela in late January. Although several countries, including the U.S., have recognized Guaido as the country’s interim president, Maduro refuses to step down.
Venezuela’s government has accused Washington of attempting to orchestrate a coup.
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