“As we speak, [National Assembly President] Jorge Rodriguez is hosting a delegation from the US government who arrived in Venezuela a couple hours ago, and he’s working to maintain the conversations we begun in March and the bilateral agenda between the US and Venezuela,” Maduro said. “He is in a meeting with them at this very hour.”
Jonathan Franks, the spokesperson for Heath’s family, said Monday that “if true, the reports of SPEHA Carstens’ trip to Caracas are an encouraging sign, both for Matthew and for the numerous other Americans held hostage in Venezuela with whom the Heath family stands shoulder-to-shoulder.”
“Matthew’s situation remains dire, and the family reiterates its plea to Presidents Biden and Maduro to arrange an emergency medical evacuation,” Franks said. “We are concerned that once authorities withdraw heavy sedation, Matthew will take the first opportunity he gets to attempt suicide again.”
The families of such detainees, some of whom have been imprisoned abroad for years, have called on the Biden administration to do more to secure the release of their loved ones and have increasingly sought to meet with President Joe Biden directly.
While the families were largely appreciative of the conversation with the top US diplomat, some walked away frustrated by what they see as a lack of urgency and concrete action from the administration.
“Stop having meetings with us to check the box and start doing stuff that actually changes things for our families,” said Alexandra Forseth, whose father and uncle are part of the “CITGO 6,” said at the time.