President Joe Biden on Saturday introduced the return of seven Individuals he stated have been wrongfully detained in Venezuela for “years.”
“Right this moment, after years of being wrongfully detained in Venezuela, we’re bringing dwelling Jorge Toledo, Tomeu Vadell, Alirio Zambrano, Jose Luis Zambrano, Jose Pereira, Matthew Heath, and Osman Khan. These people will quickly be reunited with their households and again within the arms of their family members the place they belong,” the President stated in a press release.
Vadell, Toledo, Jose Luis Zambrano, Alirio Zambrano, and Pereira are 5 of the six American oil executives often known as the “CITGO 6” arrested in Venezuela greater than 4 years in the past. Two Individuals who had been detained there, together with one of many CITGO 6, have been launched in March following the go to of two high US authorities officers to Caracas. Heath, a Marine veteran, was detained in September 2020. Khan has been detained since January 2022.
Biden stated the seven Individuals can be reunited with their households “quickly” as he thanked the members of his administration working towards their launch.
“To all of the households who’re nonetheless struggling and separated from their family members who’re wrongfully detained – know that we stay devoted to securing their launch,” he stated.
Their launch comes months after a US authorities delegation quietly traveled to Venezuela in June “for discussions in regards to the welfare and security of US nationals in Venezuela,” a State Division spokesperson told CNN on the time.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the discharge of the seven detainees and congratulated State Division personnel for “their tireless efforts to attain this final result.”
“Though we rejoice the discharge of those U.S. nationals from Venezuela, we nonetheless have extra work to do. The protection and safety of Individuals worldwide is my highest precedence as Secretary of State, and we are going to proceed to press for the discharge of all U.S. nationals wrongfully detained overseas,” he stated in a press release.
This story has been up to date with further response.