The Miami Herald's Andean bureau chief, Jim Wyss, was released after being arrested in San Cristobal, a city in Venezuela's Tachira state, and later transferred to the country's military intelligence headquarters in Caracas.
After being detained for about 48 hours, on Saturday afternoon Wyss was turned over by Venezuelan military intelligence officers to U.S. Embassy officials, who confirmed that he was in good physical shape and showed no signs of having suffered any mistreatment, The Miami Herald reported.
"First of all, I want to thank everyone who helped in my release," Wyss said upon his arrival at the Miami International Airport on Sunday. "Besides being detained, I was not hurt in any way."
Wyss, a correspondent who has put together about a dozen reports on Venezuela, was arrested on Thursday in San Cristobal by National Guard officers while working on a story about the scarcity of consumer goods in that country and its upcoming municipal elections.
According to The Herald, he was taken into custody near the border with Colombia when he approached members of the National Guard to ask for an interview with military authorities.
Venezuelan authorities said that Wyss was taken into custody for not having permission to conduct his journalistic work in the country, after which he was transferred to the detention center in the Venezuelan capital, where he was visited by officials from the U.S. Embassy.
Wyss, a respected and well-known journalist in this part of South America, over the past several years has reported on a variety of Venezuelan topics including the activities of late President Hugo Chavez and the recent presidential election.
"I have deep respect for Venezuela and its people and I look forward to continuing to report from the country," Wyss said.
"We're relieved and glad Jim is home safe and sound," Herald executive editor Aminda Marques Gonzalez said.
The Miami Herald, published by the McClatchy group, is the most important newspaper in South Florida and has won more than 20 Pulitzer Prizes over the years. EFE