Today, Jorge Ramos and a group of Univision journalists – which included María Martínez, Claudia Rondón, Francisco Urreiztieta, Juan Carlos Guzmán, and Martín Guzmán – were detained inside Venezuela’s Palacios de Miraflores for about two hours. Following that, Ramos called in to Univision to talk about the situation.
“I told Nicolás Maduro that millions of Venezuelans and many governments across the world don’t consider him a legitimate president and that they instead consider him a dictator,” Ramos recalled in Spanish. “I told him that the interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaidó called him a usurper. I told him that his former intelligence chief, who was considered one of his principal advisers, in an interview with The New York Times, [El Pollo, as he’s known, ] said that Maduro was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of young people. That’s what I told him, which he obviously didn’t like, and that’s why the interview was cut.”
Ramos explained he spoke to Maduro for about 17 minutes before the interview abruptly ended.
“He didn’t like the things we were asking him about the lack of democracy in Venezuela, about the torture of political prisoners, about the humanitarian crisis [the country’s] living through,” Ramos added. “And he left the interview after I showed him videos of young people eating from a garbage truck.”
Jorge Rodriguez, ministro para la comunicación y la información, then told them they didn’t have the proper authorization and took all of their equipment – including their cameras and cell phones – and personal items. Ramos explained that he used someone else’s cell phone to call in to Univision.
“They’re stealing our work,” Ramos said. “They’re trying to keep this story from being revealed to the world… but they’re incredibly mistaken.”
Ramos explained that several people were present and can share what they saw in Venezuela. The team also has footage of some of the on-the-ground scenes on Sunday. (A video they recorded played on Univision as Ramos said that Maduro didn’t want to see the footage.) And though the interview likely won’t see the light of day, Maduro’s government has demonstrated how it represses journalists and tries to the control information it doesn’t like, Ramos said.
The team plans to leave Caracas on Tuesday afternoon, but Ramos doesn’t know if they’ll face more issues.
Check out the interview below:
— Daniel Coronell (@DCoronell) February 26, 2019