Family Of Jailed Oil Exec Asks For Venezuelan Leader’s Mercy

FILE - This undated file photo posted on Twitter on June 18, 2020 by Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, shows CITGO oil executives Jose Angel Pereira, from left to right, Gustavo Cardenas, Jorge Toledo, Jose Luis Zambrano, Tomeu Vadell and Alirio Jose Zambrano, standing outside the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service, in Caracas, Venezuela. Vadell says in a letter from prison provided to The Associated Press on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, that it’s especially painful to be separated during the Thanksgiving season from from his wife, three adult children and a newborn grandson he’s never held. It’s the first time Vadell or the other five jailed executives of Houston-based Citgo have spoken publicly since being arrested and charged with a massive corruption scheme. (Posted on Twitter by Jorge Arreaza/Venezuela's Foreign Ministry via AP File)

(AP) – The family of an oil executive convicted and ordered to prison in Venezuela alongside five others is appealing directly to President Nicolás Maduro for mercy.

José Pereira’s relatives sent a letter Friday asking Maduro to release all six men. The judge’s verdict came out a day earlier against the executives of Houston-based Citgo, owned by Venezuela’s PDVSA oil firm. It’s been three years since they were lured to Caracas and jailed on corruption charges.

Pereira’s family says he’s fighting several health problems and needs medical care. Pereira received a sentence of 13 years, longer than the others.

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