Anniversary of the Wrongful Detention of the CITGO-6 in Venezuela

U.S. Department of State

Office of the Spokesperson

For Immediate Release

Statement by Secretary Michael R. Pompeo

November 21, 2020

November 21 marks the third year since Tomeu Vadell, Jose Luis Zambrano, Alirio Zambrano, Jorge Toledo, Gustavo Cardenas, and Jose Pereira — known as the CITGO-6 — were lured to Caracas for business meetings, wrongfully detained by masked security agents, and then thrown into one of Venezuela’s most dangerous prisons.

The U.S. government has repeatedly called for the unconditional release of the CITGO-6 and their return to the United States.  These six Americans and their families have suffered long enough; it is time for Maduro to put politics aside and let these families be reunited.  No one should doubt the President’s commitment to bringing home all U.S. citizens held hostage or wrongfully detained overseas.  Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams, and I will continue to pursue our mission to secure the release of the CITGO-6, and we will do our utmost to achieve that goal.