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Family of local member of CITGO 6 to help launch hostage freedom campaign

Family of local member of CITGO 6 to help launch hostage freedom campaign
Posted at 10:18 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 23:59:44-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Alexandra Forseth's battle to get her father freed from a Venezuelan prison has once again taken her to Washington, D.C.

That's where she'll take part in the launch of the Bring Our Families Home campaign Wednesday morning.

It's a protest across the street from the White House demanding that President Joe Biden and his staff do whatever it takes to bring home more than 55 Americans who are either held hostage or are wrongfully detained overseas.

Forseth's father, Alirio Zambrano, was arrested along with five fellow CITGO executives in November of 2017 on false theft charges.

One of the so-called CITGO Six, Gustavo Cardenas, was allowed to return home in March, but the other five remain imprisoned in Venezuela.

Bring Our Families Home is the latest effort to secure their release and that of all other American captives abroad.

Forseth was too busy getting ready for tomorrow's campaign launch to talk about it Tuesday, but her sister — who's involved in Bring Our Families Home from afar — did speak on their family's behalf.

“We’re begging the White House to consider making a decisive and relatively simple choice to bring back the most important people in our lives — and bring them back quickly and safely,” Gabriela Zambrano Hill said.

The organization believes many of the more than 55 American hostages could get released in a manner similar to that of Trevor Reed.

He was able to return home last week from captivity in Russia after the U.S. government agreed to release a Russian national in custody here in exchange for Reed's release.

Zambrano Hill hopes tomorrow's rally will lead to similar trades.

“I would say it motivated us," she said of the deal made for Reed's release. "It’s possible — there’s direct evidence that it is so possible to bring back my dad."

Whether trading captives with Venezuela is enough to bring her dad home, Zambrano doesn't know.

That's why she and the other Bring Our Families Home members are asking the White House to use "all of the tools that they have" in trying to get the wrongfully detained released.

While Zambrano Hill hopes it happens quickly, she takes solace in knowing her father may be comforted by her efforts and the efforts of the rest of her family and the campaign.

“I know that he’s aware of what we’re doing, and he knows how hard we’re fighting," she said. "And so it really helps me to know that I’m doing something that gives him strength.”