Crew members of a plane held in Argentina arrive in Caracas

The Argentine justice authorized the departure of 12 of the 19 crew members of the Emtrasur airline aircraft, a subsidiary of Conviasa, sanctioned by the United States.

Relatives and authorities received this Friday (09.16.2022) in Caracas 12 crew members of a Venezuelan cargo plane that has been held in Argentina for more than three months due to an investigation involving the United States and Iran.

The group traveled on a commercial flight from the Venezuelan state company Conviasa with a stopover in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

On Tuesday, the Argentine justice authorized the departure of 12 of the 19 crew members of the retained aircraft, of the Emtrasur airline, a subsidiary of Conviasa, sanctioned by the United States.

The Federal Court of Appeals of La Plata validated the decision of Judge Federico Villena, who lifted on August 1 the ban on leaving Argentina that weighed on eleven Venezuelan crew members and one Iranian, according to a sentence released by the press.

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“Excited to return. Really being here, sharing with our family (…), fills us with emotion,” one of the crew, Captain Vicente Raga, told the press after the plane that transported them landed in the Maiquetía International Airport, about 25 kilometers from Caracas.

“Three months there, imagine! They accused us of unfair things, of terrorists (…), but here we are because we are innocent,” said another, Armando Marcano, upon reuniting with his son and his wife.

Four Iranians (including Gholamrez Ghasemi, accused of belonging to the Al Quds force) and three Venezuelans are still prohibited from leaving Argentina.

“The commitment we have with the remaining seven comrades is still pending (…), we hope that sooner rather than later they will also manage to come,” said the Minister of Transport, Ramón Velásquez, at a reception prepared by the government, which he describes as “kidnapping” the situation experienced in Argentina. “We also await the release of our aircraft.”

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Emtrasur’s Boeing 747 arrived in Argentina on June 6, from Mexico, with a Venezuelan-Iranian crew and a load of auto parts.

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