An American journalist who was detained in Venezuela on Wednesday by government officials has been released.
The mother of Cody Weddle, a 29-year-old Virginia native who is based in Caracas, confirmed to Fox News that Weddle messaged mother Sherry Weddle, along with his sister, on Facebook, to tell them he was alright.
Weddle, who has lived in the Venezuelan capital city since 2014, and has worked as a freelancer for multiple news stations and newspapers, including the Miami Herald, Florida’s WPLG Local 10 and ABC, told his mother he’s at an airport in Venezuela and is hoping to travel to Miami on Thursday morning.
The U.S. State Department confirmed earlier Wednesday that it was “aware of and deeply concerned with reports that another U.S. journalist has been detained” by President Nicolas Maduro.
“Being a journalist is not a crime,” spokesperson Kimberly Breier tweeted. “We demanded the journalist’s immediate release, unharmed.”
.@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. We demand the journalist’s immediate release, unharmed.— Kimberly Breier (@WHAAsstSecty) March 6, 2019
Weddle was covering Interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaido’s “triumphant” return to Venezuela for WPLG when the country’s counterintelligence military raided his apartment around 8 a.m., the news station reported.
Weddle, and his colleague, Carlos Camacho, were detained, according to the Venezuelan Union of Journalists (SNTP). The team’s equipment was also seized.
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The journalist last made contact with WLPG employees on Tuesday afternoon, and his last on-air report was on Monday, detailing opposition leader Juan Guaido’s return to the South American country after defying a travel ban.