FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11 July 2023
Contact: Kevin McGuire, 202-538-2386 (mobile)
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (CA-44) joined Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Congresswoman Young Kim (CA-40), and Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), in introducing a resolution calling for the immediate release of fellow Angeleno Eyvin Hernandez, an LA County public defender and UCLA School of Law alum, who was wrongfully detained in Venezuela on March 31, 2022.
“Eyvin Hernandez’s continued wrongful detention in Venezuela is unacceptable and it’s time for him to come home,” said Congresswoman Barragán, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “Mr. Hernandez had no intention of entering Venezuela, and the charges brought against him have been shown to be completely false. We made clear to President Biden in December, that the judicial system in Venezuela is highly compromised, and any trial against Eyvin is unlikely to be carried out in a just manner or produce a fair result. His family, friends, and colleagues have been waiting anxiously for over a year for his safe return. Congresswoman Kamlager-Dove and I are proud to lead the call for the immediate release of our fellow Angeleno, Eyvin Hernandez, and encourage President Biden and his Administration to use all available means to quickly do so.”
Eyvin is a dedicated public servant and a deeply beloved member of the community known for his devotion to justice, respect for humanity, and willingness to help others. For over a year, he has been unjustly imprisoned in Venezuela, and his capture has been heart-wrenching for his family, friends, and loved ones. The State Department’s Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs has been working tirelessly to secure his release, but there has yet to be a breakthrough. Congresswoman Kamlager-Dove is introducing this resolution to demonstrate that Eyvin will not be forgotten and that she will continue fighting to bring Eyvin home, no matter how long it takes.
“Eyvin Hernandez represents the best of our District. He has touched countless lives through his work as a public defender, his mentorship of aspiring law students, volunteer work as a juvenile justice advocate, and leadership of his local union. The positive impact he has made in our community cannot be overstated. His impact has galvanized a coalition of his loved ones to advocate on his behalf and ensure he is not forgotten,” said Congresswoman Kamlager-Dove.
“I stand in solidarity with Eyvin and the Los Angeles County community and call on the Administration to do whatever is required to secure Eyvin’s freedom,” continued Congresswoman Kamlager-Dove. “Every day that passes without Eyvin is pain that his loved ones should have never had to endure. I will always keep fighting to bring Eyvin home.”
“Eyvin has been wrongfully detained by the Venezuelan regime for over a year. It’s past time to bring Eyvin home,” said Congresswoman Kim, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific. “This resolution will send a unified message from Congress for our support for Eyvin and his family as we call on the Biden Administration to act. I am proud to join Rep. Kamlager-Dove in this bipartisan effort.”
“As Eyvin Hernandez’s friends and family fight for his safe return, the United States needs to do everything within our power to bring him home,” said Congressman Castro, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. “Over the past year, bipartisan pressure from Congress has helped secure the release of wrongfully detained Americans, including through the prisoner exchange with Venezuela last October that freed seven Americans. Today’s resolution is a reaffirmation of our demand for the government of Venezuela to immediately release Eyvin and stop treating American citizens as political pawns.”
“It has been more than 15 months since my son, Eyvin, has been wrongfully detained by the Venezuelan [regime]. My heart breaks every day because of the injustice of his captivity, and the suffering it causes,” said Pedro Martinez, Eyvin’s father. “President Biden holds the key to my son’s release. I ask him to meet with me and Eyvin’s friends while we are in Washington, D.C. I have made this request to the President many times before, but there has been no offer of a meeting with him. It makes me sad and mad.”
“I am so grateful to Representative Kamlager-Dove for her dedication to Eyvin,” said Henry Martinez, Eyvin’s brother. “Since the Congresswoman has come into office, she has been the most dedicated representative for Eyvin. We could not ask for a more fierce advocate. In this dark situation, the Congressman is a source of light and love. I appreciate her willingness to work with other members of Congress to do what it takes to bring my brother home.”
“My family and brother, Eyvin, deeply appreciate Representatives Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Young Kim, Joaquin Castro, Nanette Barragán, and others for supporting the resolution being introduced today,” continued Martinez. “And the dozens and dozens of members who have expressed support for him in the past. For him, the resolution is a symbol of our love for him, and proof he is not forgotten – proof that Eyvin needs now more than ever – as efforts to secure his freedom have not yet yielded results.”
“As a representative of the Bring Eyvin Home Coalition, I too am grateful that this resolution is being introduced in support of Eyvin’s release from captivity,” said Gladdys Uribe, Eyvin’s friend from law school. “Eyvin has always done the right thing to fight for vulnerable people, support them, and uplift them. For the 20-years I have known Eyvin, he has used his understanding of morality, and all the tools in the toolbox to help people. Today, we ask congressional members to support this resolution and Eyvin, and we ask President Biden to use all the tools in the toolbox to bring him home. In brief, President Biden, please make the deal necessary to free Eyvin.”
To see a full text of the resolution, click here.
To view a one-pager on Eyvin’s case and the resolution, click here.
Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Bellflower, Carson, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Lakewood, Long Beach, Lynwood, Paramount, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, West Carson, and Wilmington. She serves as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Health, Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Minerals Subcommittees.