Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ World https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ “CITGO 6” oil pipelines released for house arrest in Venezuela in apparent goodwill gesture to US

“CITGO 6” oil pipelines released for house arrest in Venezuela in apparent goodwill gesture to US

The group, collectively known as “CITGO 6”, consisted of former leaders of US-based refineries CITGO. They were arrested in 2017 on charges of embezzlement stemming from a never-before-seen proposal to refinance about $ 4 billion. $ In CITGO bonds by offering a 50% stake in the company as collateral. Last year, they were sentenced to between 8 and 13 years in prison.

Lawyers Maria Alejandra Poleo and Jesus Loreto told CNN that the six were released from prison Friday night in Caracas and were on their way home.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza retweeted a message on Friday, calling the release a good will as a “gesture”

; to honor “the agenda of the new White House.” CNN has contacted a spokesman for the Venezuelan government to seek more information.

Attorney Poleo told CNN that “we have been asking for a review of the jail order for a long time and we are pleased that the court decided to return to house arrest today.” She added: “We do not know what led to this decision by the court, but we consider it a political gesture of benevolence towards the United States.”

In a statement, the Richardson Center – led by the former government of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, who has acted as a non-governmental negotiator to lobby for the release of men – “We are easily heard today that Tomeu Vadell, Alirio Zambrano, Jose Luis Zambrano, Gustavo Cárdenas, Jorge Toledo and Jose Pereira, known as CITGO-6, have been released from prison and placed under house arrest in Venezuela, a positive and important step to help ensure their well-being during the COVID -19 outbreak in Venezuela. “

CITGO oil leaders Jose Angel Pereira, from left to right, Gustavo Cardenas, Jorge Toledo, Jose Luis Zambrano, Tomeu Vadell and Alirio Jose Zambrano, standing outside the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service in Caracas, Venezuela.

The group’s families welcomed the news and thanked those who had been involved in the efforts to get them released.

“We wish our beloved Tomeu was on a plane to the United States with unconditional freedom, but are very grateful for this positive step made possible by Government Richardson and his team, Sec. Blinken & the State Department, the Vatican and other allies around the world.” said the family to Tomeu Vadell in a statement.

The Zambrano family also welcomed the news, adding in a statement that the families had been concerned about “men’s health and well-being amid overcrowded prison conditions and the risks associated with the Corona virus.”

The families of “CITGO 6” – all with deep roots in Texas and Louisiana – said earlier that the men had been kept in inhumane conditions, sharing overcrowded basement cells in a military counterintelligence prison and having heavy weight loss in a country plagued by food shortages.

From CNN’s Stefano Pozzebon in Bogotá, Isa Soares in London and Jennifer Hansler in Washington DC.

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