Some comeuppance for Univision's Jorge Ramos?

Univision's star anchorman, Jorge Ramos, got a taste of what a real dictator is over in Caracas, when, after showing Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro a cell phone video of starving Venezuelans eating out of a garbage truck, found himself and his television crew shoved in a dark room for two and a half hours in detention, only to be released with their expensive television equipment and interview material stolen.

Here's the Washington Post report of what went down:

Journalist Jorge Ramos and his Univision team were detained at Nicolás Maduro's presidential palace in the Venezuelan capital Monday, reportedly because Maduro didn't like the questions the reporters were asking him during an interview.

The group was freed shortly after, said Daniel Coronell, Univision's president for news in the United States.  Coronell said Venezuelan government officials confiscated the journalists' equipment.

Ramos, in a phone interview with Univision after he was released, said the interview with Maduro lasted about 17 minutes.

"He didn't like the things we were asking him about the lack of democracy in Venezuela, about torture, political prisoners, the humanitarian crisis that they were living," he said.

But the breaking point came, Ramos said, after he showed Maduro a video of people eating from a garbage truck.

Here's Marco Rubio's tweet of the actual video:

He's lucky they didn't break his nose (which in Maduro's Venezuela was done to a female dissident leader) or throw him in a dungeon for several years without trial (which was done to another top opposition leader).  This is what dictators do.  This is dictators up close.  And this is a vicious dictatorship employing muscle directly from Cuba.

Touchy, touchy bastard.  And not to get too dramatic here, but it wasn't a surprise, either: Maduro (or whichever Cuban does the work for him) banned me from his Twitter feed very recently for writing this.

This brings up the last time Ramos was in the news — getting thrown out of a press conference for interrupting other reporters and breaking the house rules, and then comparing President Trump to a dictator.  Remember this?

"I've been in journalism for 30 years and never been ejected from a news conference.  Those are things you see in dictatorships, not in America," he said.

There's a heckuva lot of difference between getting thrown out of a press conference for not being able to follow the rules, and getting thrown into detention and robbed for asking uncomfortable questions.

Here's another comeuppance for him.

Ramos proudly holds dual citizenship with both Mexico and the U.S. and, with two loyalties, cavalierly views his U.S. citizenship vow to forswear all loyalty to other nations as optional, because he votes in both countries' elections.  He likes having it both ways.  A few months ago, he even said he wanted to return to Mexico because he was so unhappy with President Trump:

In the midst of wrapping up a media tour hawking his latest book and on the heels of what he considers — because of the election of Donald Trump — the 'worst time' of his 35 years in the United States, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos now says he's pining to return to Mexico.

In an extensive interview with Spanish-language television personality Jaime Bayly, Ramos, who turned 60 this month, confessed he would like to live in Mexico again, at least "for a while."  "I would like to return to the country I left," Ramos said with evident nostalgia, calling his desire to return to his homeland "a pending assignment."

But as he sat there in that dark room, just one of those countries of his multiple citizenships stood up for him and warned the filthy dictatorship that this wasn't going down well — and it was the one with the big military and the money: the U.S.  The Trump Department of State, according to the Los Angeles Times, came out with this:

Several hours earlier, Kimberly Breier, an assistant secretary at the U.S. State Department, said on Twitter that the agency had "received word the journalist Jorge Ramos and his team are being held against their will at Miraflores Palace by Nicolas Maduro. We insist on their immediate release; the world is watching."

Mexico, by contrast, came out with some weak tea, generalistic in tone, with just some "concern and protest" regarding Ramos.  According to the Guardian:

The Mexican foreign ministry condemned the crew's detention after their release on Monday night. "Our country calls for respect for freedom of expression and reiterates its obligation in defense of the security of Mexican citizens abroad," a tweet read.

Which one would you want to have defending you in a situation like that?

So one might hope this is a lesson to Ramos about what real freedom of speech is, what real dictators are like, and which country you want to have defending you after dictators-gonna-dictator.  Dollars to donuts, Ramos won't notice; he'll just try to have it both ways.  But the rest of us can see what's going on, and it doesn't make his past pronouncements about President Trump look good.

The U.S., led by the Trump administration, awaits your gratitude, Jorge...

Image credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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