President Joe Biden on Tuesday opened the way for governments to issue permits Americans are being arbitrarily detained To be used as currency and consider the risk high in Venezuela.
Biden signed an executive order to repatriate Americans who have been kidnapped or arbitrarily detained abroad. It aims to improve support for their families and authorizes the imposition of financial sanctions on those involved.
This includes, for example, sharing relevant information, including intelligence, with members of the government’s family How your loved one is doing and their efforts at release or return, Something I can already do today.
“Strategic” use of sanctions
The order empowers agencies to impose financial sanctions on those directly or indirectly involved in such cases.
“Sanctions do not always help to secure one’s freedom We will be prudent and strategic in our application.”A US official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
“But the families of those detained are well aware of the cases of their loved ones. Also, we want to pay attention to them to listen to their good ideas and suggestions,” he added.
A new indicator
“When Americans are detained abroad, we must do everything we can to free them,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement. liberation.
Washington has also introduced a new indicator, “D,” for countries whose governments are at risk of detaining Americans. It has started pointing the finger of accusation at six countries: Venezuela, Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and Burma.
In Venezuela, ruled by Nicolás Maduro and currently under economic sanctions, there are sources 11 Americans arrested.
Maduro accused the US of wanting to topple his regime by attacking basic facilities. Washington has not recognized the ruling party for what it considers to be a fraudulent “re-election” in 2018, but rather opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.
Prisoners in Venezuela
Venezuela arrests Cuban-American in 2021 Jorge Alberto Fernandez But he was released in March 2022 after a meeting between US and Venezuelan officials in Caracas.
Luke Alexander Denman and Iron Perry, Two Americans accused of participating in the naval invasion of Venezuela were convicted in 2020. and a former Marine, Matthew Heath, He was prosecuted for “terrorism”.
is also Five former directors of oil giant CITCO, Allegation of corruption. The sixth was released in March. And a few days ago, the State Department confirmed that Venezuela had detained three more Americans without revealing their identities.
Indicator “D” is added to “K”, which already covers the risk of kidnapping and hostage taking by non-state actors. In addition, the State Department regularly publishes Travel advisories for places that pose a risk safety, health or other considerations.
Complaints from relatives against Biden
The presidential order was signed following extensive media coverage of the arrest of basketball player Brittney Griner in Russia on drug-trafficking charges. His wife accused Biden of not doing enough for her. The family of the ex-navy who is imprisoned in Venezuela has also complained about it.
Successive US administrations have prioritized the plight of prisoners and hostages.