‘Sometimes it does feel hopeless’: Relatives put faith in Trump to free five Americans starving in Venezuelan prison

Relatives of five U.S. citizens who formerly led the oil company Citgo are asking President Trump for help to free the men as they end a second year living in the windowless basement of a military intelligence facility in Venezuela.

The businessmen are nearly unrecognizable from weight loss. One was too weak to lift his less than four-foot son during a recent visit. And after waiting 18 months for a preliminary hearing, they still have no trial date on vague corruption charges.

The five Americans, all dual citizens, were arrested a week before Thanksgiving 2017, accused of negotiating a loan on poor terms. Supporters saw it as pretext for socialist
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