You are on page 1of 2


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Mr. Jason Poblete, Esq. PobleteTamargo LLP (Alexandria, Virginia) +1 (703) 566.3037
Mr. Jesus Loreto, Esq. Loreto Abogados Penalistas (Caracas, Venezuela) +58 (212) 286-2060
Ms. Megan Moore, Esq. Rusty Hardin LLP (Houston, Texas) +1 (713) 652-900

Mr. Tomeu Vadell, American Hostage in

Venezuela for Two Years
Joint Statement by Mr. Vadells’ Counsel

Two years ago a few days before

the Thanksgiving holiday, Mr.
Tomeu Vadell of Lake Charles,
Louisiana, along with four other
Americans and a U.S. LPR, was
unlawfully detained by the
government of Venezuela. Tomeu
and the other men have been denied due process of law and held in
inhumane conditions ever since.

Despite the many challenges of presenting a legal defense in Venezuela,

and also pursuing this matter in the United States, Mr. Vadell’s legal team
for several weeks has been preparing measures in Caracas, Houston, and
Washington, D.C. to help secure the unconditional release of Tomeu. Mr.
Vadell’s legal team includes Mr. Jesus Loreto, Loreto Abogados Penalistas
(Caracas, Venezuela), Ms. Megan Moore, Rusty Hardin LLP (Houston,
Texas) and Mr. Jason Poblete, PobleteTamargo LLP (Alexandria, Virginia).

“Under Venezuelan law, as of Friday, November 22nd, Tomeu is wrongfully detained, and
ought to be immediately released regardless of any crime the government claims that he might
have allegedly committed,” said Jesus Loreto, Mr. Vadell’s counsel in Caracas. “Tomeu has not
been tried in a court of law yet, he is innocent under the law and should be released
immediately,” added Loreto.
According to Art. 230 of the Venezuelan Criminal Procedure Code, no person can be
jailed for over 2 years waiting for trial. Based on this provision of the Criminal Procedure Code,
on November 25, 2017, two motions were presented demanding Mr. Vadell’s immediate release,
because Tomeu was apprehended on November 21, 2017, over two years ago. Unfortunately, as
it has done throughout this ordeal, the Venezuelan judicial system has ignored these motions.

Besides proceeding in Venezuelan courts, other measures are being undertaken to support
the unconditional release of Mr. Vadell. Precautionary Measures were requested at the
Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington,
D.C. and on October 22nd, 2019, a Complaint and Urgent Appeal was filed with the United
Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD). U.S. policymakers in the Congress
and the Trump administration have been kept abreast of developments and have been urged by
the family to do everything possible to secure Tomeu’s release.

“Tomeu’s basic human rights have been - and continue to be - violated. Not only has he
been denied due process, but he has also been denied food, proper medical care, and any
meaningful contact with his family. These human rights violations are made even more tragic by
the fact that Tomeu is completely innocent of any wrongdoing in connection with the charges
purportedly underlying his unjust and unlawful detainment,” said Megan Moore, Mr. Vadell’s
counsel in Houston, Texas. Ms. Moore further stated, “Everyone in a position to do so should be
advocating strongly for Tomeu’s immediate and unconditional release.”

“Our fellow American, Tomeu Vadell, is an honorable man held in the basement of
Venezuela’s military intelligence headquarters building. His fundamental rights are being
violated as dueling sovereigns and stakeholders iron out policy disagreements. This is wrong.
The U.S. government has legal obligations under the Hostages Act and other laws to use all
means necessary to secure Tomeu’s release,” said Jason Poblete, Mr. Vadell’s counsel in
Washington, D.C. “We will continue to press U.S. policymakers in the Congress and the Trump
administration to make Tomeu’s plight a priority, utilizing all instruments of U.S. power to secure
his freedom and bring our fellow American home,” added Poblete.

Dennysse, Tomeu’s wife, and their children Veronica, Cristina, and Diego, recently held
vigils in Lake Charles, Louisiana to commemorate the two-year mark of Tomeu’s unlawful
detention and call for his captors to change their hearts and let him come home to his family. A
family statement will be available later today on the family’s website: