Following a Tense 17-minute Interview Conducted in February between the Journalist and Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan Government Confiscated the Video Materials and Briefly Detained Ramos and His Crew.
By: John Hecht
Univision will air its recovered video of a contentious interview between anchor Jorge Ramos and Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro in full on Sunday during the news program Aqui y Ahora.
Univision recently recovered the seized video material after network news sources covertly gained access to a copy of the contentious February interview. On its website, the Spanish-language network is showing an excerpt of the 17-minute interview, which took place in the presidential palace in Caracas.
In the video, Ramos is shown lashing out at the embattled Venezuelan leader, calling Maduro an illegitimate president and accusing him of playing a part in the “deaths of hundreds of youth protesters.” Angered by his comments, Maduro fights back, calling the journalist “a political activist of the opposition” and a “professional provocateur.”
“You are going to swallow your provocation with a Coca Cola,” Maduro tells Ramos as he grows increasingly frustrated with the aggressive line of questioning.
Ramos also accuses the Venezuelan leader of torture, keeping nearly a thousand political prisoners and creating a health care crisis and food shortage. At one point, Ramos even offers to show the president a short video of Venezuelans eating from a garbage truck, at which point Maduro decides that he has heard enough and abruptly ends the interview.
“This interview has gone down such a low road,” Maduro said. “Your accusations are dirty, very dirty.” Shortly thereafter, the government detained Ramos and his crew for several hours.
The tense exchange with Maduro isn’t the first time that Ramos has butted heads with a polemical figure. In 2015, Ramos pressed then-presidential candidate Donald Trump on his controversial immigration proposals during a campaign event and was even thrown out of the news conference after refusing to follow Trump’s order to sit down.
Maduro and Ramos’ interview also came at a particularly tense time in Venezuela, with Maduro facing a power struggle with opposition leader Juan Guaidó for control. During their interview, Maduro reiterates his message to the U.S. that any attempt to back regime change would be a big mistake. Maduro supporters have criticized the U.S. for failing to respect Venezuela as a sovereign nation. Meanwhile, the U.S. has also publicly backed Guaidó, recognizing him as the nation’s interim leader during the country’s latest period of unrest.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter