Venezuela frees two detained Americans, including one CITGO6 member, after ‘secret’ Biden oil talks

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(Video Credit: ABC News)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro released two detained Americans, Gustavo Cárdenas and Jorge Alberto Fernández, on Tuesday after White House diplomats engaged in secret talks with the oil-rich country following President Joe Biden banning oil imports from Russia as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.

“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,” Biden said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

The presumed goodwill gesture by the South American dictator is a result of a high-level US delegation in Caracas crawling to Maduro, hat-in-hand, backtracking on oil sanctions placed on the OPEC member as the United States braces for the fallout resulting from cutting off Russian oil.

The New York Times was the first to report the talks. Biden administration officials disingenuously claimed that the release of the two detainees had nothing to do with a potential oil deal between Venezuela and the US.

Former President Donald Trump halted oil sales from Venezuela during his administration over Maduro’s brutal Marxist policies and human rights abuses. Venezuela is a proud Russian ally and stands against Ukraine.

Not only is Biden now courting the Venezuelan dictatorship, but he is also reportedly resurrecting the Iran deal, giving the mullahs more than they ever expected, according to reports. He is also groveling before Saudi Arabia asking if America can have some more oil, please.

All of this is occurring when the United States was energy independent just two years ago. The president is turning to America’s enemies for help in the name of climate change instead of opening up pipelines and producing plentiful energy at home.

“Here lies the oil of Venezuela, which is available for whomever wants to produce and buy it, be it an investor from Asia, Europe or the United States,” Maduro declared last week, according to The Hill.

Cárdenas and Fernández traveled back to the US with Roger Carstens, according to the New York Times. Carstens is the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.

“We express our deepest appreciation to our many partners around the world who joined us in calling for their release. While we welcome this important positive step we continue to press for the release of all wrongfully detained US nationals in Venezuela and around the world,” the State Department declared in a statement.

Lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle have condemned the meeting asserting that the US should not stop taking oil imports from one dictator just to get them from another one.

Cárdenas has been imprisoned for five years in Venezuela. He worked as an executive for CITGO in the American division of Venezuela’s state oil company.

Fernández is a Cuban American with dual citizenship who was detained in February of 2021. He was accused of terrorism after he brought a drone into the country.

Senior administration officials, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, declined to say how Cárdenas and Fernández were selected for release. They did say that Carstens pushed hard for the release of all of the hostages and that there is the possibility of additional releases.

There are at least eight other US citizens who are still imprisoned in Venezuela. They face a variety of charges and have all been arrested within the past five years.


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