WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today issued the following statement after 11 wrongfully detained Americans were released by the Maduro regime in Venezuela in exchange for the release of Alex Saab, a Venezuelan-Colombian businessman with known connections to cartels and terrorist organizations.
“We welcome reports that Americans are returning home after years of imprisonment under the Maduro regime. However, we remain deeply troubled by the weakness of the Biden Administration – which continues to be extorted by foreign adversaries using Americans as pawns. Alex Saab ran Maduro’s global money laundering empire and his relationships with Hezbollah and drug cartels. He is now free to do so again. Today’s swap strengthens Maduro and makes Americans less safe around the world.”