German minister: Envoys helped prevent Guaido arrest

Venezuela expels German ambassador

Germany, the United States and more than 50 other countries have recognized Guaido as Venezuela's interim leader in the wake of an election past year riddled with irregularities in which Maduro claimed a second term.

The National Assembly leader remains free despite the threat of arrest by the government.

The Maduro government ordered German envoy Daniel Kriener to leave the country on Wednesday after he and other diplomats welcomed Mr Guaido home at Caracas airport earlier this week.

Weddle said his interrogation was videotaped and he was prodded to make statements for the camera that Guaido is not the legitimate president and Venezuela's woes are due to USA sanctions.

Since the start of the year, Venezuela has been shaken by political unrest sometimes erupting in violence after USA -backed opposition leader Juan Guaido announced he was invoking the constitution as head of congress to wrest power from President Nicolas Maduro.

The White House said earlier yesterday that banks would face sanctions for "illegitimate transactions" that helped Maduro and his network.

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

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 U.S. humanitarian aid, in eastern Caracas on 12 February 2019.

Mr Guaido has denounced president Nicolas Maduro's re-election previous year as a "sham", while the Socialist leader says he is the victim of a US-led "economic war".

About 3,000 Venezuelan children cross the border daily to attend school in Colombia, and the closure of border bridges has forced them instead to take perilous treks along illegal pathways.

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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.

Colombian officials temporarily closed two major border bridges for several days over security concerns.

"Usually I get back: 'I'm fine".

Venezuelan students walk into Colombia from Venezuela along the Tachira River.

He has vowed to set up a transitional government and hold new elections.

Weddle said he was at the Simon Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetia waiting to board a flight back to the United States.

Guaido, 35, returned home to a hero's welcome on Monday, having defied a ban on leaving the country to embark on a 10-day tour of South American allies.

The reporter said his interrogators came from a Venezuelan counter-espionage agency and accused him of "treason, espionage, and removing military artifacts".

"Completely unacceptable for @NicolasMaduro and his thugs to detain @WPLGLocal10's Cody Weddle for reporting on the successful return of the legitimate Venezuelan President @jguaido." said Scott in a Twitter post. He reports for the Miami Herald, WPLG-Ch.

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