Journalist Jorge Ramos is not one to hold back hard-hitting questions. His reputation for being a direct and professional reporter is the reason why he’s been a trusted newsman — especially in the Latino community — for decades. Former Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, apparently doesn’t know that about Ramos. The dictator, who is having a hard time being ousted from his trubulent country, was in the middle of an interview with Ramos and didn’t approve of the tough questions that Ramos was asking.
Ramos and six Univision staffers were in Caracas inside Maduro’s Miraflores Palace and within 17 minutes of the questioning, Maduro stopped the interview
“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 told The Washington Post. “Immediately after, one of his ministers, Jorge Rodríguez, came to tell us that the interview was not authorized.”
Ramos says that Maduro’s officials took their cameras and cellphones, along with the video recording of the interview.
“The interview, they have it,” Ramos told The Post.
He also said, according to CNN, “They interrogated us. They put us in a security room. They turned off the lights.”
CNN reports that Ramos and the crew were held for three hours until they were released. In the middle of that period, Univision contacted American officials in Venezuela to help free the journalists.
Subsecretaria Breier: El Departamento de Estado ha recibido notificación de que el periodista @jorgeramosnews y su equipo están detenidos contra su voluntad en el palacio de Miraflores por Nicolás Maduro. Insistimos en su liberación inmediata; el mundo esta mirando. #Venezuela https://t.co/d5jDmjzjnP
— USA en Español (@USAenEspanol) February 26, 2019
Between the time of their detainment until they were released, officials, colleagues, and family, tweeted about the uncertainty of the situation and updates about what was happening.
Kimberly Breier, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said on Twitter: “The State Dept. has received word the journalist Jorge Ramos 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.”
Ramos’ daughter, Paola Ramos, also tweeted last night “Just talked to my dad. He is safe. He told me that 15 mins into his interview, Maduro stopped him & then forced him & his team into a dark room for 2.5 hours. He was then released without any of his belongings.”
Here’s Ramos speaking about the situation.
— Real America (@ThisIsAmerica) February 26, 2019
This predicament between Ramos and Maduro should be a lesson to all people in power, that journalists, especially excellent ones such as Ramos, will not be intimidated. Maduro should have learned that from Ramos’ interaction with President Donald Trump.