Journalists detained for hours after showing Nicolas Maduro images of poverty in Venezuela

Our Foreign Staff
- STF

A crew from US-based television network Univision said it was detained for more than two hours in Venezuela after offending President Nicolas Maduro during an interview by asking questions about poverty and his legitimacy to govern.

Maduro "disliked the questions in the interview and stopped the recording, confiscated the equipment and detained the six journalists," said Univision, one of the biggest Spanish-language TV networks in the United States.

"The crew of six Univision Noticias journalists headed by Jorge Ramos was released after being held at the Miraflores Palace for nearly three hours on the orders of Nicolas Maduro," the network added.

Ramos told Univision that the entire team had later arrived back at their hotel.

The journalist said he had showed Maduro footage of children sifting through garbage for something to eat and that Maduro halted the interview and left.

Jorge Ramos said Maduro 'disliked the questions' after he showed the president a video of people scavenging from the back of a rubbish truck

"I had asked him if he was a president or a dictator, because millions of Venezuelans do not consider him the legitimate president," Ramos said.

Ramos said he had brought up opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido's charges that Maduro has effectively usurped power because, Guaido argues, Maduro won re-election last year through fraud.

"We were detained, there is no other word for it, for nearly three hours" at Maduro's presidential palace, Ramos told reporters.

He said he and his team hope to get their equipment back and fly to Miami Tuesday.

Guaido tweeted about the incident with Ramos, saying Maduro's "desperation is greater every day. He could not answer his questions."

The US State Department earlier said it had been notified that Ramos and his team were being held against their will at the Miraflores.

"We insist on their immediate release; the world is watching," it tweeted.