The family of Savoi Wright, a 38-year-old businessman from California, claimed that he had been unjustly detained by the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro. In addition, the family indicated that Wright was being held for ransom of tens of thousands of dollars.
"All Wright’s family wants is for the 38-year-old businessman to be returned home. They know precious little about the circumstances of his arrest. No criminal charges have been filed, he has not been allowed to see a lawyer and the Venezuelan government hasn’t said where he is being held," explained the AP, who spoke exclusively with the businessman's family.
The situation arises only days after Joe Biden's government announced that it would loosen its sanctions on the Venezuelan regime. According to the AP, Wright's arrest has strained relations between the United States and Venezuela.
"Savoi Wright’s Oct. 24 arrest, which had not been previously reported, has become the latest flashpoint in the tenuous relationship between the U.S. and Nicolás Maduro’s government that critics say should lead to a return to sanctions," the AP detailed.
Wright's family: 'It's a nightmare'
Wright's mother, Erin Stewart, described the experience as a nightmare. She expressed concern about not knowing the type of situation he son was in. "It’s a nightmare. It’s like you’re watching a horror movie but you’re in it," Stewart told the AP in a telephone interview from her home in Oakland, Calif.
The California businessman joins at least seven other U.S. citizens who remain imprisoned in Venezuela. Although his arrest occurred after Biden eased some sanctions, the Democratic administration explained that they could impose restrictions on the Maduro regime at any time, especially to carry out oil transactions.
Conditions to not re-impose sanctions
The Biden administration temporarily lifted sanctions on Venezuelan oil, gas and gold after the signing of the agreement between the Maduro regime and part of the Venezuelan opposition. However, Biden required that politicians not be disqualified from running in elections and that political prisoners be released. The U.S. government gave Maduro until Nov. 30 to approve all candidates, including María Corina Machado, and release political prisoners and detained Americans.
Entrevista @Cartajuanero: EEUU fija 30 noviembre como fecha límite para que el gobierno de @NicolasMaduro «habilite a todos los candidatos, incluida @MariaCorinaYa» y la «liberación de presos»
Sin pasos, «vamos a desmantelar el alivio de sanciones»
🕗HOY 8pmET pic.twitter.com/bNyqcprLrv
— Gustau Alegret (@GustauAlegret) November 7, 2023
"Before the end of November we have to see a process for the rehabilitation of all the candidates, including María Corina Machado, all the candidates who want to run. It should be the Venezuelans who decide who will be their leaders. And the other thing is obviously the Americans who have been unjustly detained, it is key for us and obviously the continued release of other political prisoners," González said during an interview with NTN24.