Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Wednesday said the recent prisoner swap with the United States was a normal process, despite controversies around the event.
On Oct. 1, Venezuela released six businessmen and one US Marine, while the Democratic administration of President Joseph Biden agreed to allow two nephews of Venezuelan First Lady and Congresswoman Cilia Flores to leave the United States where they were jailed for drug trafficking.
It was the first time that Maduro addressed the issue.
There was an exchange of prisoners between two governments; as is normally done, Maduro argued during a press conference at the Miraflores presidential palace. As Russia does with Ukraine, as the United States does with Iran, he added
Asked about Franqui Flores and Efrain Campos after their release from a New York detention facility, Maduro replied that I could not tell you the fate of the people who were exchanged, but they are part of the international agreements that governments can normally carry out.
Flores and Campos had been both convicted in 2017 of attempting to traffic 800 kilograms of cocaine into the United States.
They had been instrumental in securing the release of seven Americans held in Caracas, according to White House sources.
The Oct. 1 swap was the culmination of different conversations held since March 5 with representatives of the U.S. government, Venezuelan authorities said in a statement while confirming the release for humanitarian reasons of a group of Americans held by Caracas.