NEW YORK (CNN Business) — The Univision network says six of its staffers, including veteran anchorman Jorge Ramos, have been released after being detained at the presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela.
The network said Ramos was there to interview embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
“Attention: A @Univision team, headed by @jorgeramosnews, is being arbitrarily detained at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas,” the network tweeted out on Monday evening.
Univision is the leading Spanish-language television network in the United States, with millions of loyal viewers.
The network contacted the US State Department shortly after the incident. Kimberly Breier, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, tweeted out, “We insist on their immediate release; the world is watching.”
Groups like Human Rights Watch also called for the immediate release of the journalists.
Univision spokesman Jose Zamora said Ramos and the other journalists traveled to Caracas to interview Maduro.
The Venezuelan government has set up multiple interviews with American journalists amid the country’s deepening crisis. In one of the other interviews on Monday, Maduro told ABC’s Tom Llamas that the US government — which is backing opposition leader Juan Guaido — is “trying to fabricate a crisis to justify political escalation and a military intervention in Venezuela to bring a war to South America.”
The Univision interview was also set to take place on Monday. Zamora said it was originally scheduled for 2:30 p.m., but kept being postponed. The taping finally started at 7 p.m.
“Very shortly into the interview, Maduro didn’t like the line of questioning, and they stopped the interview,” Zamora said.
He said government aides confiscated the network’s equipment.
Univision’s news executives were able to find out what happened, he said, because “Jorge managed to call us.” But “in the middle of the call, they took his phone away.”
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