CARACAS  - A Costa Rican diplomat abducted in Caracas over the weekend has been released and is in “good physical condition,” Venezuela’s Interior Minister announced Tuesday. “Costa Rican diplomat freed. In good physical condition and health. Under police protection and about to be reunited with relatives,” Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami wrote from his Twitter account. Officials said armed assailants intercepted Costa Rican attache Guillermo Cholele’s vehicle in eastern Caracas late Sunday and forced him into a van, in the latest in a string of high-profile kidnappings. El Aissami in a separate tweet praised the police for quickly solving the kidnapping.

Meanwhile, officials in Costa Rica said in a statement that news of Cholele’s release had brought “great relief” to his relatives, as well as to the foreign ministry in San Jose.

The abduction was a major embarrassment for Venezuela, which has seen a rash of abductions, including several of officials from the diplomatic world.

Mexico’s ambassador and his wife were kidnapped and robbed earlier this year, but were ultimately released unharmed. Bolivia’s military attache was also briefly kidnapped, as was the son of the Vietnamese ambassador.

Chile’s consul general was shot and beaten in November, the victim of a two-hour-long “express kidnapping.”

And in one of the most high profile abductions, kidnappers late last year seized professional baseball player Wilson Ramos of America’s Washington Nationals team, who ultimately was rescued by security forces.

Kidnappings in Venezuela are a lucrative business and more often than not go unpunished. They are usually resolved after relatives pay a ransom to the captors. It was not immediately known if a ransom was paid to free Cholele.

In 2009, the most recent year for which there are official figures, there were 16,917 kidnappings in Venezuela, although estimates by some non-government organizations are higher.