Despite US threat, Venezuela jails 6 Americans

Venezuela has dismissed the United States threat by slamming jail terms on Americans arrested on November 21, 2017.

A Supreme Court judge on Thursday, convicted six former oil executives of corruption.

They were sentenced to confinement ranging from 8 to over 13 years, Dpa reports.

The Ex-interim president of Citgo, Jose Pereira, was sentenced to 13 years and 7 months; five others bagged 8 years and 10 months.

The convicts were found guilty of embezzlement in a scheme to refinance company bonds.

Venezuela says the deal involved bribery and was unfavorable to state-owned PDVSA.

The judgement comes barely a week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for their “unconditional release” and return to the U.S.

In a statement, Pompeo said sextet were “lured to Caracas for business meetings, wrongfully detained by masked security agents, and then thrown into one of Venezuela’s most dangerous prisons”.

This is happening just 8 months after the U.S. placed a $15million bounty on President Nicolás Maduro.

The reward – for information that could lead to his arrest – followed the accusation by Justice Department that Maduro and 15 others sponsored narco-terrorism and drug smuggling into America

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Venezuela boasts of the world’s largest oil reserves but its production has plummeted due to factors including U.S. sanctions.

Washington is furious that Caracas now imports fuel from Iran.

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