Univision reporter Jorge Ramos was detained Monday at the Venezuelan presidential palace after reportedly showing dictator Nicolas Maduro a video of his people eating from a garbage truck.
The footage was released by one of Ramos’ associates Monday, and shows three Venezuelan men picking food out of the back of the truck before it drives off.
Estas son las imágenes que @jorgeramosnews le mostró a Nicolás Maduro y que provocaron que Maduro se levantara de la entrevista, que retuvieran al equipo de Univision y que confiscaran su trabajo. Esto es lo que Maduro no quiere que vea el mundo. pic.twitter.com/UfSZ3lr5Jm
— Enrique Acevedo (@Enrique_Acevedo) February 26, 2019
“These are the images that Jorge Ramos showed to Nicolás Maduro and provoked him to get up from the interview,” Ramos’ peer Enrique Acevedo tweeted in Spanish. “This is what Maduro doesn’t want the world to see.”
Ramos says he had been questioning Maduro for roughly 17 minutes about the current state of affairs in the country where hyperinflation and failed socialist policies have driven its people to starvation.
“He didn’t like the things we were asking him about the lack of democracy in Venezuela, about torture, political prisoners, the humanitarian crisis that they were living,” Ramos later told Univision after being released.
Ramos says he next presented Maduro the startling footage, at which point a man walked in and stopped the interview.
“Immediately after, one of his ministers, Jorge Rodríguez, came to tell us that the interview was not authorized,” Ramos said.
Ramos’ equipment was allegedly confiscated and his team detained and questioned for over two hours.
A Mexican government official called on Venezuela to release the journalists and return their equipment, saying, “Our country calls for respect for freedom of expression.”
White House Assistant Secretary Kimberly Breier also condemned Maduro’s actions and called for the Univision team to be released.
.@StateDept has received word the journalist @jorgeramosnews and his team are being held against their will at Miraflores Palace by Nicolas Maduro. We insist on their immediate release; the world is watching. #Venezuela
— Kimberly Breier (@WHAAsstSecty) February 26, 2019
Ramos and his associates were released later Monday, according to a tweet from Univision.
— Univision News (@UnivisionNews) February 26, 2019
Maduro has struggled to maintain power in the wake of the United States’ and other countries’ declaration they recognize Juan Guaido as the nation’s true president.
Meanwhile, Guaido says he plans to return to Caracas this week from Colombia, where he traveled to provide humanitarian aid, in defiance of a Venezuelan Supreme Court order prohibiting him from leaving Venezuela.
Maduro told ABC News this week he will leave it to the justice system to hold Guaido accountable.