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Are Venezuela and US talk about possible negotiations between the two nations?

Mark Denman , brother of one of the detainees by the government of Venezuela, offered us an exclusive interview with El Venezolano Newspaper based in Miami

MIAMI, FL, ESTADOS UNIDOS, December 18, 2021 / -- Mark Denman , brother of one of the detainees classified as mercenaries by the current government of Venezuela, offered us an exclusive interview with El Venezolano Newspaper based in Miami, and clarified what the current situation of the detainees is, what are the actions to take to achieve their release and finally, if the rumours are to be believed, whether there could be an exchange for the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, who is being detained in the U.S. on a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in return for Denman, Berry and the CTGO 6.

According to information provided first-hand by the Attorney General of Venezuela, Tarek William Saab, on his Twitter account, during the preliminary hearing, the defendants, U.S. citizens Luke Denman and Airan Berry confessed "their responsibility in the facts," adding that "these men admitted to having committed crimes of conspiracy, association, illicit trafficking in weapons of war and terrorism," crimes punishable by the Venezuelan penal code.
The two former US marines and employees of the US military contractor Silvercorp were sentenced to 20 years in prison in Venezuela for participating in an illegal incursion into the Bolivarian Republic, in an operation called Gadeón, in May 2020.

EVNP: How did you find out that your brother, Luke Denman was detained in Venezuela?
MD: Well, when I spoke to him before this, he told me that he was in Colombia. Obviously, it made me curious, and I asked him what he was doing in Colombia. The last time I had spoken to him, he told me that he was getting some certifications for courses and underwater skills like welding underwater, etc. So, he told me that he was in Colombia training some Venezuelans. Of course, I was curious to know more, and he told me: "It is a mission backed by the U.S. in support of Juan Guaidó, who the United States recognises as the leader of Venezuela."

I have always been very sceptical about those types of contracts. I said, you know only too well, that if you don't have that flag on your arm if you are operating as an official U.S. soldier and you don't have the United States flag on your arm and if things don't go well, they can [disown] you. I am much more cynical and critical about the government and how it works and what it does. He is very much more patriotic and believes in mission and democracy and all that. So, I told him I hoped he would take care and look after himself and he said: "We have the backing and support of the United States government. Everything is fine."

EVNP: How is it that your brother Luke is classified by the Government of Nicolás Maduro as a mercenary of the United States captured in Venezuelan territory?
MD: The impression we have of their status now in Venezuela is that they are being held…to go back to negotiating with the United States. We understand they [Venezuela] anticipates that they are valuable in negotiating with the United States.

EVNP: However, even though his brother is detained. Luke Denman’s family received what they consider: "Great news in a long time" What's that news Mark, how are you going to get your brother out of this?
MD: Roger Carson was able to visit him. He is the United States special ambassador for current hostages. This is very important because all this time, a large part of our struggle has been trying to get the United States government to recognise them..

At one point, there was information that Mike Pompeo had given, where he responded to a reporter when asked about the operation led by Juan Guaidó. Pompep said that the United States had not had direct participation in the mission [which resulted] in his brother being detained.

But everyone knew beforehand that this answer made no sense because Juan Guaidó was in the United States all that time, he is the one who runs this operation. People said that the American that he (Pompeo) knew was from the task force and that he was making statements that indicated that the United States did indeed approve this mission and that it is a total U.S. government operation.

Guaido was practically uncovering the fact that the government of the United States had betrayed him and now they are backing away after my brother's arrest. Evidence also emerged such as tapes where Juan Guaidó actually signed a contract with them. So Mike Pompeo first talks about it and says that the United States government did not have any direct participation. A little later, he changed his statement. Obviously, no one believes that first version at all. They are all pretty sure that the U.S. government helped get it all up and running. Maybe they backed off at some point because they said, "Well, this is going nowhere." Therefore, they withdrew support and left Luke and Airan to look out for themselves.

Danman goes on to explain that everything has been complicated because there is no direct diplomatic relationship between Venezuela and the United States.

In fact, that was what they initially argued in the United States, that they could not go there because they had a consular situation with that country. They had lawyers who could go see what condition they were in, but there is no American consular service that could represent these Americans there.

EVNP: Do you think the negotiation is Luke and Airan for diplomat Alex Saab?
MD: I've heard that idea going around a lot. I do not have exact information on what high-level people are doing in these negotiations. We are a simple family from Texas. I mean, I've heard a lot of ideas floating around about whether it is indeed…exchange between nations. We do not know exactly what the proposals are, but we certainly hope that they are happening as we have heard.

Enlai-li Acevedo
Miami Press Agency
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