Last Saturday, the Biden Administration had just announced that two nephews of the tyrant Nicolás Maduro —imprisoned in the United States for drug trafficking— had been released after a negotiation between the Democratic government and the Venezuelan dictatorship.
For months, officials of the Biden Administration had made trips to Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, with the supposed purpose of holding energy talks, due to the oil supply problems that arose in the world after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, months later, far from a commercial agreement, what was executed was a prisoner exchange, in which the government presided by Biden released two drug traffickers who happen to be direct relatives of Maduro, in exchange for 7 American citizens who were kidnapped by the dictatorial regime.
The news fell to all Venezuelans as a stab in the back, mainly because, Venezuela has been for decades a lawless country in which members of the regime have expropriated companies, farms, real estate, tortured dissidents, raped young protesters, and murdered opponents without there being a single tool to impart justice within the country.
In 2015, Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas were arrested in Haiti for conspiring to traffic 800 kilos of cocaine to the United States. That was the first time millions of Venezuelans felt that finally, Justice could make pay, at least, some of the accomplices and direct relatives of the ringleaders of the destruction of an entire nation. However, Biden in a treacherous act —where he seeks to get closer to the dictatorships of Latin America— threw it all away and pardoned the criminals to please Maduro and to further abandon the Venezuelans.
Clearly, the 7 American citizens, many of them dual (Venezuelan) nationals, should not have been imprisoned, and were, like many millions of others, victims of Maduro’s tyranny. However, nothing justifies the release of the narco-nephews, with which Biden now sends a very dangerous message to the world: enemy regimes will now be able to kidnap American citizens so that the United States can comply with their whims under duress.
With this action, the Biden Administration not only looked weak, but completely destroyed the justice system, the separation of powers, and left 30 million Venezuelans orphaned and helpless as Maduro mocks their misfortunes and gets away with it without any kind of resistance.
Emmanuel Rincón is a lawyer, writer, novelist and essayist. He has won several international literary awards. He is Editor-at-large at El American // Emmanuel Rincón es abogado, escritor, novelista y ensayista. Ganador de diversos premios literarios internacionales. Es editor-at-large en El American