US freed Venezuela first lady's nephews in prisoner swap: Official

Published on Oct 02, 2022 03:00 AM IST

The two Venezuelans released in Saturday's prison swap with the United States are convicted drug traffickers and nephews of Venezuela's first lady.

Efrain Antonio Campo Flores (2nd from L) and Franqui Fancisco Flores de Freitas stand with law enforcement officers in this November 12, 2015 photo after their arrest in Port Au Prince, Haiti. (Reuters)
Efrain Antonio Campo Flores (2nd from L) and Franqui Fancisco Flores de Freitas stand with law enforcement officers in this November 12, 2015 photo after their arrest in Port Au Prince, Haiti. (Reuters)
AFP |

The two Venezuelans released in Saturday's prison swap with the United States are convicted drug traffickers and nephews of Venezuela's first lady, a US official said, noting President Joe Biden made a "painful decision" to free them.

It became clear that the release of two Venezuelans jailed in 2017 and "sometimes referred to as the 'narco nephews' due to their relationship with Nicolas Maduro's wife, was essential to securing the release of these Americans," a senior US administration official told reporters after Biden announced the release of seven Americans in the deal.

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"The president made a tough decision, a painful decision, to offer something the Venezuelans have actively sought" in the months-long negotiations over the prisoner swap, the official added.

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