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U.S. journalist to be deported after detention by military counterintelligence in Venezuela

This post has been updated to report Weddle's release and deportation.

U.S. journalist Cody Weddle is expected to be deported from Caracas, Venezuela after nearly 12 hours in detention with military counterintelligence.

Local 10 News WPLG in Miami, Florida, for whom Weddle is a correspondent, reported that the journalist was released on the night of March 6 and was told by authorities that he would be deported. He was at the Simón Bolívar International Airport, on his way back to the U.S., according to the channel.

Earlier in the day, politicians and journalists called for his release after his home was raided on the morning of March 6 and he was taken to the headquarters for Venezuela’s Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim, for its initials in Spanish) in Caracas, according to the National Union of Press Workers (SNTP) of Venezuela). The raid was done “allegedly with an order signed by a military court,” the organization added.

Cody Weddle (Twitter)

The residence of Weddle’s assistant, Venezuelan Carlos Camacho, was also raided and he was detained, SNTP reported. Camacho was released after close to 12 hours, according to SNTP.

Weddle had last posted on Twitter a report for the station along with the following: “Juan Guaidó with a triumphant return to Caracas. But his path forward remains uncertain.”

The journalist's mother, Sherry Weddle, said he has lived in Venezuela since 2014, according to WPLG.

Before his release, WPLG President and CEO E.R. Bert Medina said, "Cody has been dedicated and committed to telling the story in Venezuela to our viewers here in South Florida. The arrest of a journalist doing his job is outrageous and unacceptable."

Politicians and members of the government had called for Weddle’s release.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said via Twitter that it was “completely unacceptable for @NicolasMaduro and his thugs to detain @WPLGLocal10’s Cody Weddle for reporting on the successful return of the legitimate Venezuelan President @jguaido.”

.@StateDept is aware of and deeply concerned with reports that another U.S. journalist has been detained in #Venezuela by #Maduro, who prefers to stifle the truth rather than face it. Being a journalist is not a crime,” Kimberly Breier, U.S. Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs for the U.S. Department of State, posted to Twitter.

Guaidó himself posted about the detention on Twitter. “We demand the release of American journalist Cody Weddle, who was abducted by a regime that usurps functions and tries, unsuccessfully, to hide the truth of what is happening in our country,” he wrote.

According to the SNTP, this year there have been 36 cases of detained journalists and press workers, including the recent cases of Weddle and Camacho. Three remain in detention and one, Venezuelan Mario Peláez, must present himself to an anti-terrorism court every eight days.

The most recent case of the detention of a journalist from a U.S.-based media outlet occurred on Feb. 26. Daniel Garrido of Telemundo was held by security forces after photographing members of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin).

One day earlier, Jorge Ramos and his team from Univision were detained at the Miraflores Palace after President Nicolás Maduro walked out of an interview, as the journalists reported.


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