US Releases Maduro Ally in Prisoner Swap With Venezuela

US Releases Maduro Ally in Prisoner Swap With Venezuela
Photo: Getty Images News [via Getty Images]

The Facts

  • In a prisoner swap with Venezuela, the US released a close ally of Venezuelan Pres. Nicolás Maduro, Alex Saab, in exchange for 10 Americans who were imprisoned in the South American country.

  • The deal also saw the Biden Administration secure the extradition of Leonard Francis, a wanted defense contractor better known as “Fat Leonard,” who is at the heart of a major Pentagon bribery scandal.

The Spin

Republican narrative

Biden’s administration continues to show its weakness as it bends the knee to another foreign dictator. The authoritarian Maduro regime has already shown that it has no respect for Biden’s government as it continues to win concessions from the US. Echoing last year's disastrous deal to send one of Russia’s most lethal arms dealers back to Moscow, this latest deal makes it clear that foreign dictators can hold Biden's government hostage by arresting Americans.

Democratic narrative

The White House secured a massive victory in its swap with Venezuela and was able to bring home US citizens who were trapped in the South American country. While some may criticize Biden for returning close Maduro ally Alex Saab, the fact is that the president has an obligation to his citizens. If swapping one Venezuelan prisoner allows 10 Americans to be freed, that’s definitely a worthwhile exchange.

Political split



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