American Prisoner in Venezuela Suffers a Heart Attack

Editor at National Perspectives

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American, Jose Pereira, Citgo SixImpacto Venezuela

American, Jose Pereira is part of a group jailed in Venezuela, also known as the Citgo Six. He was the president of the oil refiner Citgo, a U.S. subsidiary of Venezuelan oil company PDVSA.

It's been reported that he suffered a mild heart attack in a Caracas prison and transferred to a hospital, his lawyer told Reuters. Pereira suffered "a mild cardiopathy and is stable," his lawyer Maria Alejandra Poleo reported.

"We got a call from our dad today. He has been released from the clinic and returned to El Helicoide (prison); it is not clear what happened. He says he remembers nothing," Pereira's family Tweeted.

The Citgo Six are all former company executives and all naturalized U.S. citizens, detained by Venezuelan authorities in 2017, accused of planning to sign an illegal deal that took money away from PDVSA.

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Venezuelan PrisonTelemundo

It was just last week that Pereira and his former colleagues were suddenly removed from their house arrest after Venezuelan government envoy Alex Saab was extradited from Cape Verde, Africa, to the United States. It was a retaliatory move since Venezuela was led to believe they were negotiating for Saab's return when suddenly the U.S. executed the extradition without notice.

U.S. prosecutors in 2019 charged Saab in connection with a bribery scheme. Saab is accused of siphoning around $350 million out of Venezuela and into overseas accounts via the United States.

The Venezuela Information Ministry and the attorney general's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

There are also three other Americans held in Venezuela jails, Matthew Heath, Luke Denman, and Airan Berry.

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