Venezuela expels German ambassador Daniel Kriener for meddling

BREAKING: Venezuela expels German ambassador for backing Guaido

BREAKING: Venezuela expels German ambassador for backing Guaido

A doorman at Weddle's residence said a squad of five men wearing black uniforms demanded entry early Wednesday and left with the journalist.

The United States has identified efforts by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to work with foreign banks to move and hide money and is ready to punish the banks with sanctions in the near future, a senior USA administration official said on Wednesday.

Maduro, who is fending off mounting global pressure to cede power to the opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó, detained two French journalists in January who were filming outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas.

Weddle's assistant Carlos Camacho, a Venezuelan national, was also detained after a raid on his home by the same counter-intelligence agency on Wednesday morning, reported the union, who catalogued 36 cases of journalists held this year.

"Venezuela considers it unacceptable that a foreign diplomat carries out in its territory a public role closer to that of a political leader aligned with the conspiratorial agenda of extremist sectors of the Venezuelan opposition", the government said in a statement.

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. He had been living in Venezuela for more than four years as a freelance journalist.

Waiting for Guaido at the country's main airport, Kriener spoke to media and said he hoped the leader of the National Assembly would have a safe return. Guaido had just returned from a 10-day tour of South American allies, defying a government-issued ban on him leaving the country. Weddle also worked as an intern at WSLS 10 in 2011 and now works as a reporter for one of our sister stations, WPLG, in South Florida.

Moon calls for swift resumption of U.S.-North Korea talks
The maneuvers have been a perennial target of North Korean fury - condemned by Pyongyang as provocative rehearsals for war. He argued that Trump's policies "gave him [Kim] stature for him to walk in and do what he did" during the summit last week.

Weddle, a Virginia native, has been living and working in Venezuela since 2014, according to WPLG.

More than 50 countries, including Germany, have recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

The German Foreign Office confirmed the diplomat's expulsion: "Daniel Kriener has been declared a persona non grata".

Maduro - who says he is the victim of an attempted coup and "economic war" led by the United States - retains control of state functions and the support of the armed forces.

"Our, Europe's, support for Juan Guaido is unbroken".

"He must be released immediately and the USA will not stand for this kind of intimidation", Scott, a Republican, wrote on Twitter. "He must be released immediately and the US will not stand for this kind of intimidation!"

Weddle becomes the latest journalist to be detained by the embattled Venezuelan president as the crisis to deliver humanitarian aid to the country's residents escalates.

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