Saturday. Colombian President IvÃ¡n Duque hailed Saab’s extradition, calling it “a triumph in the fight against drug trafficking, money laundering and corruption carried out by the dictatorship of NicolÃ¡s Maduro”.
However, the Biden administration downplayed the importance of Saab’s problems, saying he can defend himself in US courts and that his case should not affect the ongoing Norwegian-sponsored negotiations aimed at overcoming the long economic crisis. and politics of Venezuela.
The families of nine Americans imprisoned in Caracas have less hope that Saab’s legal problems can be disentangled from the stealthy attempts at detente.
In addition to the Citgo 6s – who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms last year for an unfinished plan to refinance billions of oil company bonds – they include former US Navy Matthew Heath, who is in custody. for weapons charges linked to a supposed plan to sabotage refineries, and two former Caracas Green Berets linked to a failed cross-border raid from Colombia to overthrow Maduro.
“In a very disappointing turn of events, American detainees in Venezuela are now being used as political pawns,” former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who visited Venezuela in an attempt to defeat, said in a statement. ‘to secure the release of the Americans. I had hoped to do wellness tours with them, but now we’re afraid we won’t have the opportunity. “