Venezuela arrested three Americans this year, allegedly for illegally entering the countrywhich would raise the number of detainees of that nationality to 11, according to the press and the State Department.
“We can confirm the detention of US citizens in Venezuela in January and March of this year,” said a State Department spokesman.
The State Department says it does what it can to help detainees. “We take seriously our commitment to help US citizens abroad,” said the spokesman, who declined to elaborate “due to privacy considerations.”
US media said one man was arrested in January and two others in March. They are not the only Americans detained amid tensions between Washington and Caracas accusing the United States of wanting to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro and attacking basic facilities.
(Read here: Venezuela is out of the top 10 countries with the largest oil reserves)
Venezuela detained Cuban-American Jorge Alberto Fernández in February 2021, who remained in jail until March 2022, when he was released after an unexpected meeting between officials from the government of President Joe Biden and Maduro in Caracas. He had been charged with “terrorism” while trying to cross the border.
Luke Alexander Denman and Airan Berry, two Americans accused of participating in a maritime invasion of Venezuela, were sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2020 on terrorism charges.
(See here: Russia, China and Iran challenge the US with military exercises in Venezuela)
And a former Marine, Matthew Heath, was prosecuted for “terrorism.” The Maduro government accuses him of being a spy and plotting alleged plans to attack oil and electrical installations. In addition, there are five former directors of the Citgo oil company detained for allegations of corruption, four Americans and one Venezuelan with permanent residence. A sixth was released in March.
They are not the only Americans detained amid tensions between Washington and Caracas who accuses the United States of wanting to overthrow Maduro
According to the US press, which cites anonymous sources close to the investigation, the three new detainees have been arrested in separate incidents, allegedly for illegally entering the country. The Maduro government has not reported these arrests.
Former President Donald Trump led an international pressure campaign in 2019 in an attempt to remove Maduro from power, whose mandate he ignored because he considered his re-election in 2018 fraudulent.
Joe Biden has not recognized Maduro, but considers opposition leader Juan Guaidó interim president, but has tried to recalibrate the strategy and has proposed easing sanctions if the government reconciles with the opposition.
#Americans #detained #Venezuela
Leave a Reply