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FOXBUSINESS: Daughters of American imprisoned in Venezuela plea for their father’s release

The following article by HENRY FERNANDO was published by FOXBusiness on January 30, 2019.


The daughters of one of the Americans imprisoned in Venezuela told FOX Business’ Trish Regan that they’re hoping a regime change could bring their father home to Louisiana.


Cristina and Veronica Vadell, the daughter of former Citgo VP of Refining Tomeu Vadell, are placed in a complicated situation when speaking out for the father’s release not knowing whether their plea will be used as repercussions against their dad in Venezuela.


“It’s time for them to come home,” Cristina said in an exclusive interview on “Trish Regan Primetime” on Wednesday. “We really need the support of everyone to bring them home.”


As the disputed president Nicolás Maduro clings to power, five U.S. citizens from Texas and Louisiana are still stuck in a Venezuelan prison. The executives, Vadell, Gustavo Cardenas, Jorge Toledo, Alirio Zambrano, José Luis Zambrano and Citgo’s former CEO José Angel Pereira, were detained by Venezuelan authorities during a business trip to Caracas and have been held since November 21, 2017.


“Just a regular work meeting, went down there with his coworkers and he never came back home,” Veronica said. “Today marks day 435 of us not having our fathers back home with us and it’s been enough. We need to bring him home.”


Citgo Petroleum Corporation (or Citgo) is the Houston-based oil company owned by Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) which has been run by the Venezuelan government since the 1980s.


The daughters were notified of the father’s imprisonment through various family members and friends working in the oil industry.


“Immediately, I was shocked. I didn’t believe it,” Veronica said.


Cristina said they were able to speak to their dad and hear his voice not too long ago.

“He’s staying strong for us and the least we can do is come and talk about what’s happening and how unjust it is,” she said.


Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó told Trish Regan on Wednesday that the hostages' release is a major priority. The Vadell sisters are asking the U.S. government and humanitarian organizations for help in freeing their father and the other hostages.


“Anyone that can help whether it's President Trump, anyone in the state, Congressmen, including in the Venezuelan [government], Maduro, [and] Mr. Guaidó, anybody,” Veronica said. “If they can open their hearts and let the men go.”


The original article can be read here.

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