Miami, October 2 The release of two relatives of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who were serving sentences for drug trafficking in the United States, in exchange for seven imprisoned Americans in the Latin American country, raised concerns about that precedent. who can install it.
One of those who expressed himself in this regard is Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who this Sunday described as “shameful” two drug traffickers exchanged “in exchange for seven innocent people arrested in Venezuela”. , that “have put a price on the head of every American.”
“Now all the tyrants and dictators know they can hold Americans after unjustly imprisoned, and they will be able to get something in return,” the Cuban-born senator said. Interim Venezuelan government led by Juan Guaidó.
For his part, the interim government’s ambassador to the United States, Carlos Vecchio, said on Twitter that “the release of the narco-nephew sets a precedent for impunity by encouraging the Maduro dictatorship (and others) to continue persecution and crime.” Might.” ,
Vecchio, who expressed his solidarity with the seven freed Americans and their families, said, “Maduro has subsequently kidnapped American citizens to use them as bargaining chips.”
“An entire oppressed country and 244 political prisoners, victims of human rights violations, have been kidnapped by the Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela. Punishment will only increase repression against the innocent. Their only hope of freedom is a political transition as soon as possible,” he said. Told. added. Guaido’s US Representative.
In his turn, the president of the Organization for Politically Persecuted Venezuelans in Exile (VEPPEX), Jose Antonio Colina insisted that with the exchange of “narco-nephews” “the United States has committed itself to not negotiating with terrorists”. Violated the policy, which is extremely dangerous.”.
US President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Saturday that the president had waived the sentence and allowed the release of Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Frankie Francisco Flores de Freitas, nephews of Venezuela’s First Lady Cilia Flores.
Both were sentenced in December 2017 to 18 years in prison for drug trafficking in a New York court.
In return, Venezuela released seven American prisoners, including five directors of Citgo, an oil company with corporate headquarters in Texas and whose majority shareholders are the Venezuelan state-owned PDVSA.