Venezuela official held at U.S. airport

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The United States has apologized to Venezuela for the detention of its foreign minister by airport security in New York City, U.S. officials said.

"This is a provocation from Mr. Devil," Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told Venezuelan state television, using a name he called President Bush at the U.N. General Assembly last week. Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro had also attended the U.N. meeting.


Maduro told CNN that as he reached out to pick up an item that had been screened at a security checkpoint at John F. Kennedy International Airport, security personnel told him he was prohibited from doing so.

Maduro identified himself as a Venezuela government official, but officials still took him to a room for a more thorough screening, he said.

Maduro claims he was kept in the room for 90 minutes.

"The State Department regrets this incident," State Department spokesman Gonzo Gallegos said.

Latest Headlines