Free Jorge Toledo, American held in Venezuela | Pod Hostage Diplomacy

Pod Hostage Diplomacy

Mar 30 2022 • 1 hr 8 mins

American citizen Jorge Toledo from Houston, Texas has been wrongfully imprisoned in Venezuela since November 2017. He works for US oil company, CITGO and was arrested in Caracas with 5 of his colleagues while they were there for a business meeting. Collectively, they are known as the CITGO 6. The US government has called for their immediate release.

On 8 March 2022, one of the CITGO 6, Gustavo Cardenas – was released. This is a positive step for the families of the 5 remaining members of the CITGO 6 as they are now hopeful their loved ones may come home soon.

This is our fifth episode on the CITGO 6. So far we have interviewed the daughter of Tomeu Vadell, Veronica Vadell Weggeman and the daughter and niece of Alirio Jose Zambrano and Jose Luis Zambrano, Alexandra Zambrano Forseth. Please do check out these episodes if you haven’t already.

On this episode, we have the honour of speaking to Jorge Toledo’s son – Carlos Anez. Carlos talks to us about the release of Gustavo Cardenas and his father’s serious health issues requiring urgent care. According to Carlos, Jorge has chronic bronchitis and his kidneys are not functioning properly. Every piece of information Jorge’s family is getting so far indicates that Jorge’s organs are on track for an eventual failure.

Carlos also talks about what happened to his father, his background, the conditions Jorge is being held in, the urgent need for medical care, the toll this has taken on his family, criticism of the Biden administration’s efforts to free Gustavo Cardenas by opposition party politicians and why the CITGO 6 families are pushing back on this criticism. We end the interview by discussing with Carlos what US President Joe Biden, Congress, State Department, journalists and the public can do to help free Jorge Toledo.

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