The family of a Black American man is praying for his safe return to U.S. soil after he was wrongfully arrested in Venezuela more than a month ago. Savoi Wright, a 37-year-old mortgage loan specialist who works remotely in South America, has not been able to retain a lawyer and has had limited contact with his family.
“It’s a nightmare. It’s like you’re watching a horror movie but you’re in it,” Wright’s mother, Erin Stewart, told the Associated Press.
Stewart’s nightmare began in late October when she and several family members scrambled to pay a whopping ransom fee to her son’s captors.
Before contacting his mother via WhatsApp, a digital messaging service, Wright called his cousins to notify them that he had been stopped by police in a park while he was with a woman who had drugs on her, according to KTVU. The northern California native wasn’t charged, but Venezuelan officials placed him in the custody of immigration for deportation after they noticed that his passport was missing a stamp.
Wright contacted his cousins first because he feared his mother would have “a heart attack” from the news.
“Basically, during that time, we weren’t sure what had happened. When you hear that news, it’s difficult to digest, let alone process,” Wright’s sister, Moizeé Stewart, told KTVU, noting how she and family members stayed “up all night trying to scrape together” money to pay her brother’s hefty ransom.
After hours of waiting, Wright eventually contacted his mother and sister. He revealed that he was in police custody about 430 miles from Cúcuta, a Colombian city near the Venezuelan border. Due to being in the presence of his captors, the 6-foot-10-inch Loyola Marymount University graduate did not go into detail about his arrest.
“He was speaking to us in a very, kind of coded way,” Moizeé said, adding how she could hear her brother’s detainers directing him in the background.
Wright’s family said that they contacted U.S. government officials to help expedite his safe return home, but the process has been disheartening.
“To anyone that has had the misfortune of being in this situation, your initial instinct is to go to the authorities for help and expect that there will be substantial support. This is not a situation that we’ve ever been in, let alone do we know what to do in this situation,” Moizeé said. “Repeatedly, I was kind of informed that the U.S. does not have diplomatic ties with Venezuela and there is very little that can be done.”
Stewart fears that her son is being held in a former textile factory-turned-detention center, where inmates have been known to endure abuse and torture. Wright has strict dietary restrictions due to his severe food allergies and she is concerned that her son’s health may be in jeopardy.
“He has no political ties. He is not a threat to Venezuela. We’re very concerned for him. Nobody’s acknowledging him. Nobody officially. We’re very concerned for his health and his well-being. We want him home,” she added.
Wright is one of seven U.S. citizens who remain behind bars in Venezuela, according to the Associated Press. He was reportedly taken into custody shortly after President Biden eased back on oil sanctions against the Venezuelan government.
The post Prayers Up For Savoi Wright: Black Man Wrongfully Arrested In Venezuela, Family Says appeared first on NewsOne.
Prayers Up For Savoi Wright: Black Man Wrongfully Arrested In Venezuela, Family Says was originally published on newsone.com
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