Miami Herald reporter detained in Venezuela

CARACAS Sat Nov 9, 2013 8:48am EST

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CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan authorities were holding an American journalist from the Miami Herald for a third day on Saturday after he was picked up near the border with Colombia reporting on economic shortages and an upcoming local election, his colleagues said.

Bogota-based Jim Wyss was believed to have been transferred to Caracas from the border area, his newspaper said.

"We are very concerned," Aminda Marques Gonzalez, the Herald's executive editor, said in a story on its web site.

"There doesn't seem to be any basis for his detention and we're trying to figure out what's going on. We are asking that Jim Wyss be released immediately."

Officials from President Nicolas Maduro's government had no comment on the case.

Since winning an election to replace Hugo Chavez in April, Maduro has leveled a stream of accusations of U.S.-inspired plots and sabotage against his socialist administration.

An American filmmaker was arrested for nearly two months on accusations of spying, while three U.S. diplomats were expelled in September on similar charges. Maduro says Western media are complicit in a "silent war" against him.

Venezuela's foreign press association joined a chorus of calls from media bodies for Wyss' release. Its president, Humberto Marquez, also urged the Maduro government to provide "truthful and timely information" on the case.

The Maduro government is under pressure over Venezuela's economy, where inflation is running at an annual 54 percent and shortages of basic goods are common. The opposition is hoping next month's nationwide municipal elections will turn into a protest vote against the successor of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

(Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (1)
Arnleif wrote:
Perhaps the Venezuelan authorities suspected that the American journalist was carrying “government secrets”, and arrested him under their “Terrorism Act”. No wait, there is no “Terrorism Act” law in Venezuelan law that allow for unlimited detention without charges.

Nor have they any law that authorizes the nations leader to kill their own citizens, or for that matter any foreign citizen in foreign countries. Nor a law that allows for killing people without charges, a trial or conviction. Something the Western nations who see them self as the “God given” leaders of the world because of their “exceptional values” do have.

You can try discrediting Maduro`s socialist administration as conspiracy lunatics. But they have good reasons to be afraid of the US. After all there was only one Latin American country that signed on to the Bush “war on terror” concept. That was Colombia, which was then, and is now the only Latin American nation receiving US military aid, and where the US is very active, and where each day huge atrocities are committed.

Once the whole Latin America was like Colombia, but they kicked out the Americans, overthrew their US supported dictators and became “radical socialists”. That was the end of Reagan`s “war on terror”. Likewise there seem to be a western presumption created, that make it inconceivable to think that any western nations including the US, poses no threat to anyone.

A quick look at who the major aggressors are, both before and after WW2, should be enough to dismantle that. But no. Even the western destruction of Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan is excluded. The North Koreans can only admire and speculate in what kind of indoctrinating system is capable of achieving that.

Do this mean the Venezuelan authorities have any right to detain a foreign journalist because he came from the US. No.

But if western media continue deny the reasons why it happens, and instead chooses to keep feeding the citizens of western nations a presumption of all the “evil” around the world that threatens “western values”. Then I think WW3 is completely unavoidable.

Nov 09, 2013 6:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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