Venezuela's Guaido urges more sanctions after German expulsion

Venezuela's Guaido urges more sanctions after German expulsion

Venezuela's Guaido urges more sanctions after German expulsion

The German Ambassador to Venezuela, Daniel Kriener, has been ordered to leave the country having been declared "persona non grata" by the government.

A statement from Venezuela's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said German Ambassador Daniel Kriener had repeatedly "interfered in the country's internal affairs, in clear contravention of the norms that govern diplomatic relations". "Even if they want him to leave the country and they need to get him out of there safely and they need to turn him over to the American authorities in Venezuela".

Guaido, recognised as interim president by more than 50 countries, had defied a ban on leaving the country to embark on a 10-day tour of South American allies. Germany followed suit in early February.

"They're threatening an important European country that is providing humanitarian help to Venezuela", he said.

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.

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

Venezuela's socialist leader, Nicolas Maduro, is not a fan of journalists - opening 36 cases against them in this year alone - and Weddle chose to call him out in his Caracas coverage.

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'.

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.

WPLG, one of the outlets for which Weddle worked, added that he was at the main Caracas-area airport waiting for a USA -bound flight.

Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has cut ties with Colombia after opposition leaders used the neighboring Andean nation as a launching point for humanitarian aid meant to undermine his authority. 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.

Politicians and relatives are urging Venezuelan officials to release a freelance journalist and Southwest Virginia native who was detained there after a raid on his home.

Also on Wednesday, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence said the U.S. will revoke more visas from prominent Venezuelans as it seeks to increase pressure on Maduro to give up power. "Trump is waiting for any excuse to intervene", she went on to say, in reference to the persistent threats leveled by the White House since it threw its weight behind Maduro's ouster in late January.

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