A Bay Area man was amongst six wrongfully detained U.S. citizens who were released by Venezuela on Wednesday morning, according to the U.S. State Department.
Savoi Wright, who grew up in Oakland, had been detained in Venezuela since his Oct. 24 arrest.
"These individuals have lost far too much precious time with their loved ones, and their families have suffered every day in their absence," President Joe Biden said in a statement. "I am grateful that their ordeal is finally over, and that these families are being made whole once more."
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Wright's family said he had no political ties but had grown to love the country of Venezuela.
"Of all the places that Savoi has been, he fell in love with Venezuela the most," a GoFundMe page set up by his sister, Moizee Stewart, read. "He said that there was something extra special about the sweetness of the people and the beauty of the country."
Also released was Eyvin Hernandez, a Los Angeles County public defender and UCLA School of Law alumnus who had been wrongfully detained in Venezuela since 2022.
"After 21 months of wrongful detainment at the hands of the Maduro regime, Eyvin Hernandez is finally coming home," U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California, said in a press release Wednesday. "A public defender and a beloved member of his community, Eyvin's absence brought angst and fear to his loved ones for far too long."
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