American Detained in Venezuela Seeks Release

American Detained in Venezuela Seeks Release

( – In early 2022, Los Angeles Attorney Eyvin Hernandez flew to Colombia for a two-week vacation, was arrested by Venezuelan authorities, and has still not returned home. According to the LA Times, the lawyer is being held in a maximum security prison and charged with criminal association and conspiracy. If found guilty, he could spend up to 16 years in prison. However, the US has determined Hernandez was unlawfully detained and has been trying to secure his release.

On December 4, CBS News reported that the Biden administration set a November 30 deadline for the Venezuelan government to send Hernandez home. However, that date came and went with the US attorney still in lock-up. The news outlet reportedly obtained a letter Hernandez recently wrote to the White House, begging President Joe Biden to get him out of the Venezuelan prison. The lawyer said he’s been “held in captivity” for over a year and a half now. All he wants for himself and his fellow inmates is to be free. CBS News said the letter was Hernandez’s idea and done of his own free will.

One day after the expired deadline, the US Department of State issued a press release stating that the department was “deeply concerned” about the “wrongfully detained US nationals and Venezuelan political prisoners.” The department’s spokesperson, Matthew Miller, said the US is still working on the issue, in addition to electoral matters in Venezuela, and will have more information for the public soon — including next steps.

According to Hernandez’s brother, Henry Martinez, the attorney traveled to the Colombia/Venezuela border with a friend. Martinez said his brother didn’t intend to cross into Venezuela. While at the border, Hernandez and his friend were reportedly approached by a group who asked him to pay them a bribe. When they didn’t, the alleged para-military team hooded them, threw him into the back of a truck, and turned him in to the authorities. The pair has been in prison ever since.

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