Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
February 6, 2019
[The following Q&A are excerpts from an interview which can be read in its entirety HERE]
QUESTION: There are five Americans that are in prison right now being held hostage by Nicolas Maduro. Six people actually left from the U.S. to go down to what they thought was a business meeting. They worked for Citgo, which was owned by PDVSA. They thought it was a normal business meeting in Caracas, and the next thing they know they wind up in prison. Again, five U.S. citizens and then another person who was working here with a green card. What are we doing to help them, to get them out? Because America can’t stand for that. We can’t allow a dictator to lock up our people.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Trish, I can’t talk much about any individual case. I can tell the American people this: First, anywhere there is an American who is wrongfully detained, in this case by the thug Maduro – the United States Government is incredibly focused on obtaining their release. We’ve been pretty successful in President Trump’s first two years in doing that. President Trump and my team are rightfully proud of the work that we’ve done.
In the case of Venezuela, I can assure the American people that we are working diligently to make sure that no American is wrongfully detained by Mr. Maduro.
QUESTION: And the families in Texas and Louisiana, you can assure them that you’re working hard?
SECRETARY POMPEO: There is – there is no effort that is being spared in returning Americans who are wrongfully detained, in – frankly, in Venezuela and elsewhere in the world as well.