Surprisingly, The nephews of the first lady of Venezuela, Cilia Flores, accused in the United States of drug trafficking, were released this Saturdayor in exchange for seven US prisoners who were in Caracas, sentenced to up to 13 years.
Among those released are five directors of the oil company Citgowhose relatives constantly called for his release. Efraín Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas, nephews of the presidential couple, were sentenced to 18 years in jail in the US
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Through a statement, Venezuela reported that as a result of the talks held on March 5 between the governments of both countries, “the release of two young Venezuelans unjustly imprisoned is achieved.”
The text also informs that “For humanitarian reasons” the release of Americans imprisoned in Venezuela is given.
The White House also issued a statement. The American president said: “I am grateful for the hard work of the dedicated public servants throughout the US government who made this possible and who continue to fulfill my administration’s unwavering commitment to keep the faith in Americans held. as hostages and unjustly detained around the world, ”says the statement issued by the White House.
(Also read: Why do US sanctions on Venezuela limit relations with Colombia?)
The freed Americans are:
– Jorge Toledo,
– Tomeu Vadell,
– Jose Luis Zambrano,
– Jose Pereira,
-Matthew Heath and
The full statement says:
“Today, after years of being unjustly detained in Venezuela, we bring home Jorge Toledo, Tomeu Vadell, Alirio Zambrano, José Luis Zambrano, José Pereira, Matthew Heath and Osman Khan. These people will soon be reunited with their families and return to be in the arms of your loved ones, where they belong. I am grateful for the hard work of the dedicated public servants throughout the US government who made this possible and who continue to live up to my administration’s unwavering commitment to keep the faith in Americans held hostage and wrongfully detained around the world. Today we celebrate that seven families will be whole again. To all the families who still suffer and are separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained, please know that we remain dedicated to securing your release .
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It is also a priority of my Administration to prevent Americans from having to endure the unimaginable pain of being taken hostage or wrongfully detained. This summer, I signed an executive order that will impose new costs, including penalties and visa bans, against perpetrators of such acts. Additionally, the State Department has introduced a new “D” warning flag that is designed to help Americans understand where and when travel may pose a higher risk of wrongful detention, possibly for extended periods of time. If travelers make the decision to go despite this “D” warning, they should know that they are incurring massive personal risk and that the US government may not be able to secure their release.”
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ANA RODRIGUEZ BRAZON
Correspondent of THE TIME
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