CARACAS - Spanish-language U.S. television network Univision said a news team led by anchor Jorge Ramos was detained at the presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday while interviewing President Nicolas Maduro.
The six-person team was held for more than two hours in the Miraflores palace after Maduro said he did not like the questions they asked him, Ramos told Univision by phone.
The veteran anchor said he asked Maduro about the lack of democracy in Venezuela, the torture of political prisoners and the country's humanitarian crisis.
Ramos said Maduro stopped the interview after he showed the embattled leader a video of Venezuelan children eating from a garbage truck.
"They confiscated all our equipment," Ramos told Univision in an interview. "They have the interview."
In response to Univision's claims, Venezuelan information minister Jorge Rodriguez said on Twitter the government had in the past welcomed hundreds of journalists to the Miraflores presidential palace, but it did not support "cheap shows" put on with the help of the U.S. Department of State.
Univision and the U.S. Department of State called on Maduro to release the journalists after Ramos rang the network to say they had been detained.
Maduro conducted interviews with U.S. media networks on Monday as the U.S. government targeted Venezuela with new sanctions and called on allies to freeze assets of its state-owned oil company PDVSA.
The moves followed deadly violence at the weekend that blocked humanitarian aid from reaching the country.