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Chair Cardin Statement on the Release of Detained Americans from Venezuela

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the below statement following the release of 10 Americans, including 6 who were determined by the Biden Administration to be wrongfully detained by the Maduro regime.

“I am heartened to see the safe return of 10 Americans from Venezuela after years of imprisonment under the Maduro regime. For far too long, the Maduro regime has committed horrific abuses against the Venezuelan people and repeatedly detained American citizens without cause.

“These Americans could not have returned home without months of careful negotiation by the Biden Administration. This deal, combined with the signing of the Barbados agreement in October, shows that through strategic diplomacy, the U.S. can advance our national interests and push for a much-needed democratic opening in Venezuela. The international community must continue to push the Maduro regime to live up its commitments and guarantee the eligibility of democratic candidates to run for office, including opposition leader Maria Corina Machado.

“While we celebrate the return of these Americans, we must also recommit to pursuing accountability for the regime’s role in committing crimes against humanity and human rights abuses against the Venezuelan people.”