Thursday, May 23, 2024

Venezuela frees Americans before US delegation arrives


Caracas – AFP
Following a U.S. delegation’s surprise visit to Caracas over the weekend, Venezuelan authorities released two Americans on Tuesday, one of whom is one of six former executives of CIDCO, a subsidiary of the Venezuelan National Oil Company, accused of corruption.
“I can confirm that the publisher is Gustavo Gordonas,” said attorney Jesus Loreto. The other five are still in custody.
Five Venezuelans with US citizenship and six Venezuelans holding permanent residency cards in the United States have been living in their home country since their arrest in 2017, amid tense relations between Caracas and Washington.
The case has led to growing tensions in relations between Venezuela and the United States, which has repeatedly called for the release of these prisoners.
According to the Foro Final NGO, which specializes in human rights and prisoners, 251 political prisoners in Venezuela are members of the Citgo 6 group.
Jorge Alberto Fernandez, a Cuban-American arrested in early 2021 in the Colombian border state of Tachira, has been released and charged with terrorism.
The human rights NGO tweeted, “He was unjustly detained and charged with terrorism for possessing a drone.
The release of the Americans comes a day after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that he would resume talks with the opposition after meeting with a US delegation. This may be a sign that relations between the United States and Venezuela are beginning to heat up again.
The United States, which did not recognize Maduro’s re-election in 2018, imposed sanctions on Caracas in an attempt to oust him, representing 96 percent of the country’s revenue, including preventing Venezuela from trading its crude oil since 2019. , In the US market.
But on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russia’s oil and gas imports, with the aim of strengthening sanctions imposed on Russia following military operations in Ukraine.
Russia is a close ally of Venezuela, and President Maduro has reiterated his support for Vladimir Putin in recent days.
Maduro confirmed that Monday’s meeting with the US delegation was marked by respect and diplomatic friendship, without going into details about the issues raised.
He also mentioned that this was done in the office of the President. We talked for about two hours, “he said.” It seemed very important to me to have face-to-face discussions on topics that are very important to Venezuela.
For his part, White House spokeswoman Zhen Zaki told reporters that “the purpose of the executive’s visit to Venezuela was to discuss a number of issues, including energy and energy security.”

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Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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