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American Citizen Detained in Venezuela After Biden Administration Lifts Oil Sanctions

The family of a man from California is pleading for his release after he was unlawfully detained in Venezuela following the lifting of oil sanctions by the Biden administration. Savoi Wright, a 38-year-old businessman, was arrested on October 24 and his family has been left in the dark about the specifics of his arrest.

No charges have been filed against him, and he has been denied access to legal representation. The Venezuelan government has also not disclosed his whereabouts. Wright’s arrest comes at a sensitive time in the relationship between the United States and Nicolás Maduro’s government.

Credit: DepositPhotos

It occurred shortly after President Joe Biden eased oil sanctions and amid an agreement for elections next year. Some are now calling for a reinstatement of sanctions in response to Wright’s arrest. The Biden administration has expressed its willingness to reinstate sanctions if Maduro fails to honor certain commitments, including the release of political prisoners and wrongfully detained U.S. citizens.

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The State Department has stated that any deviation from these terms will result in a reversal of actions taken. Critics argue that Wright’s arrest is evidence of Maduro’s bad faith, with some pointing to the risks American citizens face when traveling to Venezuela.

The State Department has repeatedly warned against travel to the country due to the dangers of kidnapping and extortion. Wright is only the second U.S. citizen to be detained since the release of oil executives and other Americans by Venezuela last year.

Credit: DepositPhotos

He has spent over a decade working remotely as a mortgage loan officer, dividing his time between Oakland, Miami, and various locations in South America. Wright’s mother, Erin Stewart, was unaware of her son’s presence in Venezuela until his arrest. She believes he was set up after being apprehended by the police while in a park with a woman in possession of drugs. 

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After determining that Wright hadn’t committed any criminal offense, law enforcement discovered his passport lacked a stamp and handed him over to immigration authorities for deportation. Details about Wright’s current situation remain unclear, but there are concerns about his well-being.

Other inmates have claimed he is being held in a detention center notorious for torture and abuse. Stewart worries about her son’s psychological torment and his health due to severe food allergies. Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek William Saab has not provided any information about Wright’s case.

Credit: DepositPhotos

Among the other U.S. citizens detained in Venezuela are two former Green Berets involved in a failed attempt to overthrow Maduro and three men accused of illegally entering the country from Colombia. Wright’s family has spoken out, believing that the U.S. government has not done enough to secure his release.

They have reached out to the FBI and the State Department, but with limited diplomatic resources and the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela closed since 2019, their options are limited. The family hopes that by sharing their story, they can increase awareness and pressure for action.

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Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!