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International News: Venezuela releases 7 jailed Americans in a swap for 2 of President Maduro’s relatives

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Posted: Monday, October 3, 2022. 10:47 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On Saturday, Venezuela freed 7 Americans that were jailed in exchange for 2 relatives of Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, Reuters reports.

Maduro’s wife’s nephews had been jailed in the U.S. for drug convictions in 2015.

Those freed in Venezuela included executives of Citgo Petroleum held for years, in addition to U.S. Marine veteran Matthew Heath and another U.S. citizen named Osman Khan.

U.S. President, Joe Biden said that the “wrongfully detained” Americans would soon be reunited with their relatives.

“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” Biden stated.

The transfer reportedly occurred at an airport in an unspecified third country and followed months of secretive talks with Maduro’s socialist government, which is under strict U.S. sanctions.

Meanwhile, Maduro says that 2 young Venezuelans “unjustly” held in the United States were freed, as well as a group of U.S. citizens who were subject to Venezuelan court proceedings and were released for “humanitarian reasons.”

 

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