USA to punish foreign entities funding Venezuela's Maduro

USA to punish foreign entities funding Venezuela's Maduro

On Monday, the embassy said on its Twitter account that Kriener hoped Guaido's return 'was a step towards a peaceful and political process to overcome the Venezuelan crisis'.

Most Western countries, including Germany, recognize Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate head of state and back his plan to install a transition government ahead of free elections.

"This is an incomprehensible decision, which escalates the situation instead of easing tensions", Maas said in a statement.

The foreign ministry said Martin Kriener had 48 hours to leave following "interference" in Venezuela's internal affairs after he greeted Guaido at Caracas airport on his return to the country on Monday. Maduro says he is victim of a coup.

The United States will impose sanctions on foreign institutions helping to finance embattled far-left Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, the White House said on Wednesday.

A USA free-lance reporter and his Venezuelan assistant were arrested Wednesday by military counterintelligence agents, according to the nation's union for journalists.

A Venezuelan national workers union for journalists this morning tweeted saying that Cody Weddle had been taken into custody after raids on his home in Caracas by the national military counter-intelligence group.

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The measure, announced by President Donald Trump's national security advisor John Bolton, is the latest tightening of screws in Washington's campaign to force Maduro from power.

Agents of DGCIM, the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence, detained Weddle and his Venezuelan assistant Carlos Camacho at around 8am local time yesterday, a Venezuelan press union said.

A Citibank spokesperson declined to comment on whether the bank would agree to Guaido's request, with Venezuela's Information Ministry and the central bank also keeping mum on the matter.

Florida senator Marco Rubio, long one of Maduro's fiercest critics on the worldwide stage, joined the chorus expressing outrage over Weddle's detention on Wednesday morning. "We demand the journalist's immediate release, unharmed".

According to the Miami Herald, U.S. officials have "confirmed they are aware of Mr. Weddle's detention and are monitoring it closely".

The station said Weddle's last contact was on Tuesday afternoon and attempts to reach him on Wednesday have been unsuccessful.

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