Padilla Statement on the Release of Californians Following Wrongful Detainment in Venezuela

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) issued the following statement on the release of Eyvin Hernandez and Savoi Wright, American citizens from California who had been wrongfully detained in Venezuela.

“After 21 months of wrongful detainment at the hands of the Maduro regime, Eyvin Hernandez is finally coming home. A public defender and a beloved member of his community, Eyvin’s absence brought angst and fear to his loved ones for far too long. I am proud to have fought relentlessly alongside Eyvin’s family, friends, federal lawmakers, and the State Department’s Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs to secure his release.

“I am glad to see Eyvin and Savoi finally released from their unjust imprisonments and headed home.”

Senator Padilla worked tirelessly to secure the release of Eyvin Hernandez. Earlier this year, Padilla and the late Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a resolution calling for his prompt release. In October, Padilla met with senior members of President Biden’s National Security Council to discuss the recent U.S.-Venezuela sanctions deal and to continue his push for Eyvin’s release. Furthermore, Padilla sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging him to do everything within the Department of State’s power to secure Eyvin’s release, including issuing the wrongfully detained determination so that his case could be referred to the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA). Padilla also issued a joint, bipartisan statement earlier this month condemning the Maduro regime for reneging on their commitment to release wrongfully detained U.S. citizens, including Eyvin, sooner, for arresting democratic opposition leader Roberto Abdul, and for issuing arrest warrants against other senior members of Venezuela’s democratic opposition.

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