NATIONAL NEWS

Biden announces return of seven American detainees from Venezuela

Oct 1, 2022, 2:41 PM | Updated: Oct 6, 2022, 3:12 pm

President Joe Biden announced the return of seven Americans he said were wrongfully detained in Ven...

President Joe Biden announced the return of seven Americans he said were wrongfully detained in Venezuela for “years, ” and pictured here on June 18, 2020, by Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, shows CITGO oil executives Jose Angel Pereira, from left to right, Gustavo Cardenas, Jorge Toledo, Jose Luis Zambrano, Tomeu Vadell and Alirio Jose Zambrano in Caracas, Venezuela. Jorge (Arreaza/Venezuela's Foreign Ministry/AP)

(Arreaza/Venezuela's Foreign Ministry/AP)

 (CNN) — President Joe Biden on Saturday announced the return of seven Americans he said were wrongfully detained in Venezuela for “years.”

“Today, after years of being wrongfully detained in Venezuela, we are bringing home Jorge Toledo, Tomeu Vadell, Alirio Zambrano, Jose Luis Zambrano, Jose Pereira, Matthew Heath, and Osman Khan. These individuals will soon be reunited with their families and back in the arms of their loved ones where they belong,” the President said in a statement.

Vadell, Toledo, Jose Luis Zambrano, Alirio Zambrano, and Pereira are five of the six American oil executives known as the “CITGO 6” arrested in Venezuela more than four years ago. Two Americans who had been detained there, including one of the CITGO 6, were released in March following the visit of two top US government officials to Caracas. Heath, a Marine veteran, was detained in September 2020. Khan has been detained since January 2022.

Biden said the seven Americans would be reunited with their families “soon” as he thanked the members of his administration working toward their release.

“To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained — know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” he said.

Their release comes months after a US government delegation quietly traveled to Venezuela in June “for discussions about the welfare and safety of US nationals in Venezuela,” a State Department spokesperson told CNN at the time.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the release of the seven detainees and congratulated State Department personnel for “their tireless efforts to achieve this outcome.”

“Although we celebrate the release of these U.S. nationals from Venezuela, we still have more work to do. The safety and security of Americans worldwide is my highest priority as Secretary of State, and we will continue to press for the release of all U.S. nationals wrongfully detained abroad,” he said in a statement.

This story has been updated with additional reaction.


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event Monday, March 13, 2023, in Davenpor...

CNN Staff

Trump to appear at CNN town hall in New Hampshire

Former President Donald Trump will participate in a CNN presidential town hall next week in New Hampshire, the network announced Monday.

10 months ago

FILE - President Joe Biden walks along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso Texas, Jan. 8...

Colleen Long, Aamer Madhani and Tara Copp

Biden sending 1,500 troops for Mexico border migrant surge

The Biden administration will send 1,500 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border amid an expected migrant surge following the end of coronavirus pandemic-era restrictions.

10 months ago

Authorities said there were at least 6 fatalities in the wrecks. (Photo courtesy: Nathan J. Cormier...

Joe Sutton

Dust storm in Illinois leaves at least 6 dead after more than 70 vehicles crash

At least six people were killed Monday when a dust storm caused more than 70 vehicles to crash along a major highway in central Illinois, officials said.

10 months ago

Serena Williams attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating...

Associated Press

Serena Williams, Karlie Kloss reveal pregnancies at Met Gala

Move over Instagram (or Snapchat) — the Met Gala was the place to announce pregnancies, at least if you’re Serena Williams or Karlie Kloss.

10 months ago

emergency lights generic...

Associated Press

7 bodies found during search for missing Oklahoma teens

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says the bodies of seven people have been discovered during the search for two missing teenagers.

10 months ago

Larry Woodcock speaks to a crowd of media cameras and microphones...

Larry D. Curtis and Lauren Steinbrecher

Victim’s grandfather says evidence ‘unequivocal’ in Lori Vallow Daybell trial

As Lori Vallow Daybell entered the fifth week of her trial facing charges of first-degree murder, a victim's grandfather, Larry Woodcock, said the documentation in the case is "unequivocal."

10 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Close up of an offset printing machine during production...

Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...

Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...

Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.

notebook with password notes highlighted...

PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.

Biden announces return of seven American detainees from Venezuela