October 1, 2022

Cassidy Announces Louisiana Resident, 6 other American Hostages Freed from Venezuelan Captivity

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today announced the secured release of Lake Charles, LA resident Tomeu Vadell and six other American hostages held in Venezuela. Vadell was a member of a group of CITGO energy executives, known as the CITGO 6, that were lured to Caracas and taken hostage by the Nicholas Maduro Regime in November of 2017. One of the members was recently released last March. 

“After five years of work to free Tomeu Vadell and the rest of the CITGO 6, it is a blessing to say they are returning home,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Thank you to the administration and the many U.S. officials who worked with us to secure their release. This is a great day.” 

“Tomeu is coming home! We are grateful for Senator Cassidy’s support all these years and for President Biden prioritizing bringing Americans home,” said the Vadell Family.

CITGO executives Tomeu Vadell, Jose Luis Zambrano, Alirio Zambrano, Jorge Toledo, Jose Pereira, and former U.S. Marine Corporal Matthew Heath were released by the Maduro Regime as part of a swap for convicted drug traffickers Franqui Flores and Efrain Campo, nephews of Nicholas Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores.

Cassidy had been actively involved in the effort to free Vadell since the group’s arrest. Cassidy was in regular contact with the Vadell family, the U.S. State Department and other intermediaries working on a way to bring them home.