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Officials have confirmed the return of imprisoned Americans to the US late Wednesday, following a deal between the Biden administration and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Six out of the 10 Americans involved in the agreement, considered wrongfully detained, arrived at Kelly Airfield Annex in San Antonio, Texas. President Biden expressed relief in a statement, saying, “These individuals have lost far too much precious time with their loved ones, and their families have suffered every day in their absence. I am grateful that their ordeal is finally over, and that these families are being made whole once more.”


The swap also involved Leonard Francis, also known as “Fat Leonard,” a fugitive who escaped US custody before his sentencing in a major Pentagon corruption case. He was arrested by Venezuelan authorities and returned to the United States. Conversely, the US released Alex Nain Saab Morán, a close Maduro ally, as part of the exchange. President Biden described the decision to grant Saab clemency as “extremely difficult,” made to facilitate the release of the detained Americans.

President Biden also cautioned Americans against traveling to Venezuela and emphasized the commitment to ensuring that Venezuela upholds its promise of competitive presidential elections in 2024.


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