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Argentine Reporter Says Venezuelan Agents Seized Election Video

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BUENOS AIRES — Venezuelan secret service agents detained the Argentine television journalist Jorge Lanata and his crew for two hours in the basement of the Caracas international airport on Monday, Mr. Lanata said.

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Only after the agents had erased his video of the Venezuelan elections, he said, were the journalists permitted to leave the country.
“We are very shaken,” Mr. Lanata told reporters upon landing at Ezeiza Airport just outside Buenos Aires late Monday.
Mr. Lanata, host of the Sunday news show “Periodismo Para Todos,” or “Journalism for Everyone,” is a harsh critic of the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, who was re-elected on Sunday.
The Argentine crew was returning to Buenos Aires from Venezuela on a regularly scheduled commercial flight after traveling to Caracas to cover the election.
Mr. Lanata said that he was interrogated by the secret service, which accused him of espionage for broadcasting written orders putting him under surveillance while in Caracas.
The Venezuelan embassy did not respond to several requests for comment for this article.
Argentina’s ambassador to Venezuela, Carlos Cheppi, told reporters that Mr. Lanata’s claims were untrue, describing the broadcast of secret service documents as a “provocation.”


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