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Statement on the Release of United States Citizens Detained in Venezuela

March 08, 2022

Tonight two Americans who were wrongfully detained in Venezuela will be able to hug their families once more. We are bringing Gustavo Cárdenas and Jorge Fernandez home.

Cárdenas was arrested in 2017 as part of the so-called CITGO 6, and he has endured 5 years of hardship and imprisonment at the hands of an unjust system. Fernandez was arrested last year on spurious charges. These men are fathers who lost precious time with their children and everyone they love, and their families have suffered every day of their absence. I am grateful to Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens and our entire diplomatic team for their tireless efforts to secure their release and reunite these families.

Unjustly holding Americans captive is always unacceptable. And even as we celebrate the return of Cardenas and Fernandez, we also remember the names and the stories of every American who is being unjustly held against their will, in Venezuela, in Russia, in Afghanistan, Syria, China, Iran, and elsewhere around the world. My administration will keep fighting to bring them all home.

NOTE: The statement referred to José Luis Zambrano, Jorge Toledo, Tomeu Vadell, Alirio José Zambran, and José Ángel Pereira, former CITGO Petroleum Corp. executives, who were convicted on corruption charges in Caracas, Venezuela, on November 22, 2017; and Gustavo, Maria Mercedes, and Sergio Cardenas, children of Mr. Cárdenas.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the Release of United States Citizens Detained in Venezuela Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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