Venezuela opposition leader says government is threatening Germany

BREAKING: Venezuela expels German ambassador for backing Guaido

Kimberly Breier, the top US diplomat for the Western Hemisphere, said on Twitter that the State Department was "aware of and deeply concerned with reports that another USA journalist has been detained in Venezuela", without naming Weddle.

"They're threatening an important European country that is providing humanitarian help to Venezuela", he said. One of his recent articles detailed the growing deadlock between political opposition leader Juan Guaido and President Nicolas Maduro as the National Assembly brought in a new board of directors for their oil sector. Weddle said officials told him he was being deported, but it was unclear exactly when he would return.

"Here's the mistake we make: We're quiet when these interventions are happening", said Khanna, who has been an outspoken opponent of USA interference in Venezuela.

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared acting president Juan Guaido speaks to supporters during a rally to bring pressure to the military to allow in United States humanitarian aid, in eastern Caracas on 12 February 2019.

The move brings to more than 250 the number of Venezuelans targeted by USA visa bans, a State Department official told AFP.

After the expulsion order, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he had chose to recall Kriener to Berlin for consultations.

At about 7 a.m. Wednesday, a group of armed men, a lot of them dressed in black, approached Weddle's Caracas apartment building, said Florangel Manzo, 49, the president of the condominium board.

Guaido vowed Tuesday to increase pressure on Maduro, who in turn promised to crush a "crazed minority" that wants to remove him from power.

"Our, Europe's, support for Juan Guaido is unbroken".

BREAKING: Venezuela expels German ambassador for backing Guaido

The government gave Kriener 48 hours to leave the country, but did not provide specific details on why he was being expelled.

Khanna, who spearheaded the letter, urged his Democratic colleagues to unite against USA -backed regime change and sanctions in an interview with HuffPost on Thursday.

Venezuela broke off diplomatic ties with neighbouring Colombia after Maduro's security forces blocked a February 23 attempt by Guaido and allies to bring humanitarian aid into Venezuela from Colombia and Brazil.

"They wanted to know about the work I did, who I worked with".

"We will be sanctioning some in the days and weeks to come", the official said, hours after White House national security adviser John Bolton warned foreign banks they could face sanctions if they participated in transactions benefiting Maduro.

When he returned to Caracas - his latest challenge to Maduro's authority - Guaido announced to tens of thousands of supporters his plans for new protests.

But Mr Maduro, a 55-year-old former bus driver and foreign minister, still has powerful backers at home and overseas, namely the Venezuelan armed forces and Russian Federation and China, which have both urged non-interference in the country's internal affairs.

"Given the current state of relations between the U.S. and Venezuela, having military intelligence arrest a USA citizen, freelance reporter Cody Weddle, seems like unnecessary provocation", he tweeted.

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