Venezuela's government expelled the German ambassador on Wednesday, while press advocacy groups said two journalists, one of them American, had been detained as socialist President Nicolas Maduro cracks down on a challenge to his rule. "He said he was fine and wanted to know how I was".
To try to hasten Maduro's exit, the United States placed sanctions on the OPEC nation's oil industry in late January, and last month attempted to ship humanitarian aid into Venezuela despite Maduro's opposition, in the hopes it would prompt the military to flip its loyalty to Guaido.
Weddle is originally from the Meadowview community in Washington County, where he attended Patrick Henry High School.
Venezuela's government has ordered the expulsion of Germany's ambassador over his backing of opposition leader Juan Guaido in a political struggle with President Nicolas Maduro.
WPLG Local 10 News in Miami, Florida lost their contributor in Venezuela Wednesday.
Weddle, and his colleague, Carlos Camacho, were detained, according to the Venezuelan Union of Journalists (SNTP).
Weddle's mother spoke to CNN and said she is "very, very, very worried" for her 29-year-old son.
Venezuela broke off diplomatic ties with neighboring 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.
Senator Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, wrote on Twitter that Weddle's arrest was unacceptable: "He must be released immediately and the US will not stand for this kind of intimidation!"
"It is pretty clear that from some of the reports from other people over there that it was the Maduro forces that raided his apartment this morning". "He is an American Citizen and he is over there reporting".
Venezuela considers it unacceptable that a foreign diplomat would take on "a public role more appropriate to that of a political leader", the government statement said.
"Being a journalist is not a crime", tweeted Kimberly Breier, assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere. Last week Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and his crew were held while interviewing the country's embattled president, Nicolás Maduro.
A USA free-lance reporter and his Venezuelan assistant were arrested Wednesday by military counterintelligence agents, according to the nation's union for journalists.