January 31, 2019 / 4:05 PM / 15 days ago

Venezuela frees two French journalists: Quotidien

PARIS (Reuters) - Two French journalists arrested in Venezuela while reporting on the political turmoil engulfing President Nicolas Maduro were freed on Thursday, the Quotidien TV show for whom the pair worked said.

“Happy to announce that Baptiste des Monstiers and Pierre Caille have been released and will soon be back in Paris,” Quotidien said in a tweet.

Venezuelan security agents also detained three foreign journalists — a Colombian photographer, Spanish reporter and Colombian TV producer — who had been covering the U.S.-backed effort to oust President Nicolas Maduro for the Spanish news agency EFE.

The arrests followed the deportation of two Chilean reporters detained this week.

Accused of election fraud, and overseeing a deep economic collapse that has led millions of Venezuelans to migrate, Maduro is facing the biggest challenge to his rule since replacing Hugo Chavez six years ago.

Reporting by Marine Pennetier; Editing by Richard Lough

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