U.S., Venezuela Reach Deal On Prisoner Swap

TOPSHOT - Opposition activists, seen here behind a Venezuelan flag, protest against the deaths of 43 people in clashes with the police during weeks of demonstrations against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas on May 17, 2017. - The United States warned on Wednesday at the United Nations that Venezuela's crisis was worsening and could escalate into a major conflict similar to Syria or South Sudan. (Photo by JUAN BARRETO / AFP) (Photo by JUAN BARRETO/AFP via Getty Images)
Opposition activists, seen here behind a Venezuelan flag, in Caracas on May 17, 2017. (Photo by JUAN BARRETO/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Chloe Hauxwell
12:22 PM – Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Venezuela has agreed to release 36-prisoners, including 10 Americans, in exchange for one ally of embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

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On Wednesday, details of the prisoner swap announced that the U.S. government will be releasing Colombian businessman Alex Saab in exchange for 36 people. Saab is accused of helping Maduro defraud the oil-rich nation by serving as his top money-launderer.

The White House released a statement regarding securing the release of the Americans detained in Venezuela. Of the 10 Americans being released, six were wrongfully detained.

President Biden ignored shouted questions from reporters about the exchange on Wednesday morning.

However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed it during his end of the year press conference.

“We want to make sure that our fellow Americans are released,” Blinken reiterated. “We are also focused on political prisoners in Venezuela and trying to ensure their release. So, what I can say in this moment is this: we have a lot of work going on both of those fronts right now, and we hope to have some good news to share probably later today.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during his end-of-year news conference on December 20, 2023, at the State Department in Washington, DC. Blinken said Wednesday he expected "good news" on Americans detained in Venezuela, following an easing of tensions with President Nicolas Maduro. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP) (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during his end-of-year news conference on December 20, 2023, at the State Department in Washington, DC. Blinken said Wednesday he expected “good news” on Americans detained in Venezuela, following an easing of tensions with President Nicolas Maduro. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

As has been the case with previous prisoner exchanges, the swap is likely to take place in a third country.

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