Families launch ‘Bring our families home’ to try to get overseas loved ones released

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – The recent prisoner swap with Russia that brought former Marine Trevor Reed home to the U.S. has drawn attention from others whose loved ones are being held overseas.

Those families want a meeting with President Joe Biden and hope to persuade him to use the tools at his disposal to bring their loved ones home.

Family members of the CITGO 6, including those with Lake Charles ties, were among those in Washington, D.C. to launch a group called “Bring our Families Home.”

They gathered in front of the White House with pictures of family members held hostage or wrongfully detained overseas.

It included family of the CITGO 6, five of whom are still held in Venezuela.

Alexandra Forseth is the daughter of Alirio Zambrano, who once held a top management position at the CITGO refinery near Lake Charles.

She and her brother- in-law, Mickey Hill, spoke at the rally to talk about her dad and uncle jailed in Venezuela.

“I have two little girls, a two-and-a-half-year-old and a one-year-old. They have not met their grandfather yet because he’s been in jail four and a half years. This has gone on long enough. The American administration – they’ve had enough time to put a plan together. They’ve had enough time,” said Hill.

Cristina Vadell’s father Tomeu has also been held for nearly five years.

She couldn’t attend the rally but sent a letter to be read.

Vadell hopes means used to bring home others can be utilized in her father’s case.

“Many times, there are similar solutions even though each case is unique and the tools and resources that the president of the United States can use, can be applied to other cases around the world,” she said.

They hope working together they can have more success getting their loved one’s home.

The group estimates over 55 innocent Americans are being held hostage or are wrongfully detained overseas. They believe they are held largely because they are Americans.

Copyright 2022 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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