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 managers were placed under house arrest in Venezuela with an obvious gesture of goodwill towards the United States

CITGO 6 oil managers were placed under house arrest in Venezuela with an obvious gesture of goodwill towards the United States

The group, known as “CITGO 6”, consisted of former managers of the US-based CITGO refinery. They were arrested in 2017 on charges of embezzlement stemming from an unfulfilled 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 had been released from prison on Friday night in Caracas and were returning home.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Areaza retweeted a statement Friday calling the release a “gesture of goodwill”

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

Attorney Poleo told CNN that “we have long wanted a revision of the prison order and welcome the fact that the court has decided to return to house arrest today.” She added: “We do not know what caused this court decision, but we accept it as a political gesture of goodwill towards the United States.”

In a statement, the Richardson Center – led by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who acted as a non-governmental negotiator to lobby for the release of the men – said: Toledo and Jose Pereira, known as CITGO-6, were released from prison and placed under house arrest in Venezuela. -19 outbreak in Venezuela. “

CITGO managers Jose Angel Pereira, from left to right, Gustavo Cardenas, Jorge Toledo, Jose Luis Zambrano, Tomeu Vadel and Alirio Jose Zambrano, standing in front of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service, in Caracas, Venezuela.

Families from the group welcomed the news and thanked those who participated in the efforts to free them.

“We would like our beloved Tome to be on a plane to the United States with unconditional freedom, but we are very grateful for this positive step taken by Governor Richardson and his team, the Blinken sector and the State Department, the Vatican and other allies around the world.” in a statement by Tomeu Vadel’s family.

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

The CITGO 6 families – all with deep roots in Texas and Louisiana – have previously said the men were held in inhumane conditions, shared overcrowded basements at the military counterintelligence jail and suffered severe weight loss in a food-scarce country.

From CNN’s Stefano Potzebon in Bogot√°, Isa Soares of London and Jennifer Hansler of Washington.

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