President Joe Biden greets California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) as he arrives at Mather Airport on Air Force One Monday, September 13, 2021, in Mather, California, for a briefing on wildfires at the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz) [Photo Credit: White House Public Domain]
The news comes as Biden begs Venezuela to produce more oil to alleviate the pain at the pump.
Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens and Ambassador Jimmy Story traveled to Caracas to discuss the status of at least eight Americans held captive in inhumane conditions, Reuters reported. The hostages include five of six former executives who worked for the U.S. branch of Venezuela’s state-run oil company, PDVSA, and were arrested four years ago on corruption charges, according to CNN.
“The trip focused on discussions about the welfare and safety of wrongfully detained U.S. nationals in Venezuela and to press for their release,” a state department spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens “was able to visit with wrongfully detained Americans in Venezuela and assess their well-being, a critical step. He was also able to discuss with senior Maduro regime officials the importance of ensuring that they receive appropriate care where needed,” said the spokesperson.
Former marine Matthew Heath, detained on allegations of terrorism and espionage in 2020, reportedly attempted to commit suicide earlier in June and remains in critical condition, his family told Reuters. The family claims Heath was held for ransom in Columbia and transferred to Venezuela.
.@StateDeptSpox on Venezuela: Our overriding goal is to support a peaceful democratic transition in Venezuela through free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and to help the Venezuelan people rebuild their lives and their country. pic.twitter.com/Yuf4HrgBbD