Venezuela swaps 7 US prisoners for 2 Maduro relatives

Venezuela has exchanged seven American prisoners held in the South American country for two nephews of President Nicolas Maduro, who were imprisoned in the US on drug trafficking charges. a report.

According to reports, the prisoner exchange, which involves five US oil executives working for Houston-based Citgo, is the largest in the Biden presidency and has involved months of secret talks.

“We are relieved and satisfied today to welcome back to their families seven Americans who were wrongfully detained in Venezuela for too long,” said Joshua Geltzer, Deputy Homeland Security Adviser.

tomu wadela, José Luis Zambrano, Alirio Zambrano, Jorge Toledo and Jose Pereira — were lured to Venezuela in 2017 to attend a meeting at the headquarters of the company’s parent, state-run oil giant PDVSA and face corruption. was arrested on the charges. The officers were sentenced in 2020 to between eight and 13 years in prison. gustavo cardenasAnother member of a group of oil executives originally known as Citgo Six was freed in March.

It took months of secret negotiations to complete the swap.
It was the largest prisoner swap ever during Biden’s tenure.

The arrests came amid a Venezuelan state oil company purge at a time when relations between the two countries were breaking down, and demonstrations breaking out as the Venezuelan economy spiraled out of control.

it was also released Matthew Heath, a former US Marine Corporal from Tennessee who was arrested in Venezuela in 2020 over a roadblock in what the State Department called a “specific” weapons charge. According to reports, Heath tried to commit suicide in his cell in June.

Another American, Usman Khan, who was arrested in January, was also released by the Maduro government. The US State Department said all US prisoners were wrongfully detained in Venezuela.

The United States frees Frankie Flores and his cousin Efrain Campo, nephew of Maduro's wife Cilia Flores.
Four other Americans are currently imprisoned in Venezuela.

United States became free frankie flores and his cousin Efrain Campo, nephew of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores. The cousins, both nascent drug traffickers, were arrested in a 2015 Drug Enforcement Administration sting in Haiti and flown to New York to face trial for attempting to send 800 kg of cocaine on a plane from Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas. where he planned to use his uncle’s personal airplane hangar. A year later, both were convicted.

Both Flores and Campo were pardoned by President Biden ahead of their release on Saturday.

Four other Americans are currently imprisoned in Venezuela, including two former Green Berets involved in an effort to oust Maduro in 2019, and two other men who, like Khan, were found to have entered the country illegally from neighboring Colombia. was taken into custody.

post with wires

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