Venezuelan president says his government has detained Americans suspected of involvement in espionage activities, while thousands march in support of their government. Sophia Soo reports.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says his government has detained Americans suspected of espionage. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO, SAYING: "We've detected activity and we have captured some U.S. citizens in undercover activities, in hidden activities, espionage, trying to win over people in towns along the Venezuelan coast, trying to win over people in some neighbourhoods. In Tachira, we captured a U.S. plane pilot of Latin origin with all sorts of documentation." Speaking at a rally, he said his government will prohibit some U.S. officials from entering Venezuela, in retaliation for a similar measure by the United States. Maduro said Americans will now need visas to get into Venezuela and will have to pay the same visa fees that Venezuelans pay to get into the U.S. Hundreds supporting the government's decision marched on the streets of Caracas, some stepping on an American flag. Venezuela's president, long at odds with Washington, has renewed accusations recently that the U.S. is seeking to topple him. His political opponents say this is aimed at distracting from the severe economic crisis in the oil-exporting nation.