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Venezuela assigned its top investigators to search for Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, who was kidnapped Wednesday from his parents’ home in the South American nation, the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington said Thursday.

The State Department condemned the kidnapping but added that it is not involved in the search for Mr. Ramos because he is not a U.S. citizen.

The embassy released a statement from Justice and Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami in Caracas, who said the probe is in the hands of the Corps of Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations led by Commissioner Luis Carabin.

“We have appointed a team of high-level specialists … and experts on kidnapping, intelligence and criminal investigation,” Mr. El Aissami said.

He said he also contacted Mr. Ramos‘ parents and other relatives “to express his solidarity in this difficult situation,” the embassy said.

Mr. El Aissami promised to conduct “a deep investigation so we can capture those responsible for this terrible crime.”

He said police recovered the kidnappers’ vehicle in a town in the state of Carabobo in northern Venezuela. Gunmen grabbed Mr. Ramos in Valencia, the capital of Carabobo. Mr. Ramos had returned to Venezuela during the Nationals offseason to play for a local baseball team.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner noted that the Obama administration repeatedly has warned of the dangers of kidnappings in Venezuela.

“We condemn these kinds of violent acts,” he said.

Mr. Toner added that the department is “monitoring” the case but has not contacted anyone in Venezuela.


Donald Tsang was sitting in his room at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington on Sept. 11, 2001, watching the “horror of the 9/11 attacks unfold on television.”

He had just arrived on one of the last early morning flights to leave New York before Arab terrorists flew two airliners into the World Trade Center and the entire U.S. airspace was shut down.

Mr. Tsang was the chief secretary of Hong Kong, the second-highest position in the largely autonomous Chinese city that four years earlier had been a British colony.

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About the Author
James Morrison

James Morrison

James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...

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