Politics

US Calls for Humanitarian Release of Wrongfully Detained Americans in Venezuela

U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo called on Venezuela in a statement on March 19 to release five U.S. citizens and one U.S. resident from Citgo that have been wrongfully detained by the Venezuelan regime for over two years ago and are currently imprisoned in the infamous Helicoide prison in Caracas.

During their detention there was no “evidence being brought against them” and “eighteen hearings have been cancelled,” says the statement.

The six detained men “have weakened immune systems due to cumulative health problems and face a grave health risk if they become infected,” says the statement, and should be released now “on humanitarian grounds.”

View of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) headquarters, known as "El Helicoide", in Caracas, on May 9, 2019. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
View of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) headquarters, known as "El Helicoide", in Caracas, on May 9, 2019. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
View of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) headquarters, known as “El Helicoide”, in Caracas, on May 9, 2019. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Helicoide prison was originally built in the 1950s as the first drive-thru shopping mall in the world, but the project was abandoned. The government moved its intelligence services, known as SEBIN, to the building in the 1980s and established a prison there where criminals and political prisoners were detained, reported BBC. According to this report, maltreatment, torture, and human rights abuses are common in Helicoide.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
People wearing protective masks on the streets after the start of quarantine in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Caracas, Venezuela on March 17, 2020. {Manaure Quintero/Reuters)

PDVSAs Spread in Venezuela

The spread of the CCP virus has already reached Venezuela and 36 cases have been reported so far in the country, according to Reuters. Nicolas Maduros regime expanded a limited quarantine to the entire country and imposed a ban on movement between states, with exceptions for transportation, health, and food delivery services.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Partys coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

However, Reuters reported that in seven states, security forces at checkpoints were holding up trucks carrying food, gasoline, and other basic goods between regions in order to search their cargo.

As a result, food distributors and retailers in the country have not received their expected deliveries. “We are stuck with a very limited supply of fuel and food,” said Carlos Albornoz, head of an association of Venezuelan meat and milk producers.

The food shortages that Venezuelans have been facing for more than a year due to the countrys shrinking economy under Maduros regime are often aggravated by delayed food deliveries and the deepening humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
Citgo gas station on 8100 block of Martin Luther King Blvd. in Houston, Texas. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

Top Citgo Executives Imprisoned in Venezuela

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