American journalist detained by Venezuelan officers then freed talks about detention – Fox News

The American journalist who was detained in Venezuela Wednesday spoke exclusively to Fox News about his detention and release.

Cody Weddle, 29, told David Asman on “Cavuto Live” Saturday about the chain of events that included his arrest and aftermath. He recalled being detained on early Wednesday before being freed several hours later then deported. He heard the doorbell to his apartment ring but thought it was somebody delivering water to his residence.

“And when I opened that door I saw three armed men. They had rifles, they had handguns and then there was also a woman there as well and they gave me an order that said I was under investigation for espionage for extracting military equipment and also for treason to Venezuela and they ended up raiding my apartment,” Weddle told Fox News.

When asked what he thought triggered the arrest, Weddle said he was asked about some reporting he did regarding the “current state of Venezuela security forces.”

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“I did reporting that showed the rank-and-file members of Venezuela security forces are suffering from the effects of this economic crisis of the humanitarian crisis,” Weddle said. “They are paid measly salaries and I spoke to a few members of the security forces, anonymously and they all said that the rank and file are ready to see change in the country but that they can’t rise up in any way because the top generals remain with [President Nicolas Maduro] and there is intense surveillance by people like these counterintelligence services so they started asking the context I had in the military, contacts I had with all types of security forces so I think, although they never said explicitly, I think that was perhaps the reason this all happened.”

When asked if he gave up any specific names, Weddle said he did not. He said authorities went through his phone and computer but he did not give them extra information.

The journalist said, when he got to the Miami airport, he was asked if the accents of those who detained him were Cuban or Venezuelan. Asman asked him if there was “any indication that the Cubans were involved” in his detention.

“I didn’t run into any Cubans there or hear any Cuban accents and where I was arrested, but certainly that we know that Cuba has been involved in the security especially of President Maduro, but it’s something that is very vague and we don’t have a lot of information about that or to what extent that exists in the country,” Weddle said.

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The Virginia native said it was hard to tell if Maduro’s government could last but said he expected a transition to be coming.

Weddle has lived in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital city, since 2014, and has worked as a freelancer for multiple news stations and newspapers, including the Miami Herald.

Weddle’s detainment comes after Univision journalist Jorge Ramos and five others were briefly detained after they interviewed Maduro at the Miraflores Palace.

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.

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