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December 20, 2023

Barragán, Kamlager-Dove, Padilla, Butler, Castro, and Kim Statement on Release of Eyvin Hernandez

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     

20 December 2023

Contact: Kevin McGuire, 202-538-2386 (mobile)

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Nanette Barragán (CA-44) joined colleagues Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Laphonza Butler (D-CA), and Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), and Congresswoman Young Kim (CA-40) in celebrating the release of fellow Angeleno Eyvin Hernandez, an LA County public defender and UCLA School of Law alum, who has been wrongfully detained in Venezuela since March 31, 2022.

“What wonderful news right before the holidays, to hear that Eyvin has been released from his wrongful detention in Venezuela and is on his way home to Los Angeles. This is a great day for Eyvin, his family and friends, and all of those who fought so hard for his release,” said Rep. Nanette Barragán. “Eyvin should have never had to endure arrest and detention in Venezuela by Maduro’s government agents. I am proud to have helped lead the calls for his release alongside Congresswoman Kamlager-Dove and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, and I am very happy that he will be able to spend the holidays where he belongs – at home with his family and friends. Thank you, President Biden for never forgetting about Eyvin and for your Administration’s hard work to ensure the safe release of our fellow Angeleno.” 

Eyvin Hernandez 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 was unjustly imprisoned in Venezuela. Congresswoman Barragán joined Congresswoman Kamlager-Dove to introduce a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives in July of this year, and the State Department’s Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs worked tirelessly to secure his release.

“It is a miracle that Eyvin is back with his family and friends at last, and I know they are embracing him closely today,” said Congresswoman Kamlager-Dove. “The Bring Eyvin Home Coalition’s tireless work and the work of the State Department made it possible for this angel to make it safely back to the City of Angels. Just this month, I met with Eyvin’s family to discuss his case, and I have been proud to make his release an important priority for my work on behalf of CA-37.

“Eyvin has been wrongfully detained by the Venezuelan regime for more than a year – it’s past time to bring Eyvin home. Thank you to the teams at the State Department Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs and the National Security Council for making this a reality. This is indeed the best Christmas present we can ask for! I stand with his family and community who advocated for his return, and I look forward to learning more about the terms of the agreement,” said Rep. Young Kim. “I have been proud to work with Rep. Kamlager-Dove to demand his release and join Eyvin’s family and friends in celebrating his return home.”

“I want to thank my House and Senate colleagues for their support of my legislation earlier this year, which helped draw much-needed attention to this case. I am overjoyed that this this beloved son, brother, uncle, has made a safe return and will continue to be here to support him as he recovers from his time in detainment.” 

“After 21 months of wrongful detainment at the hands of the Maduro regime, Eyvin Hernandez is finally coming home. A public defender and a beloved member of his community, Eyvin’s absence brought angst and fear to his loved ones for far too long,” said Senator Padilla. “I am proud to have fought relentlessly alongside Eyvin’s family, friends, federal lawmakers, and the State Department’s Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs to secure his release. I am glad to see Eyvin finally released from his unjust imprisonment and headed home to Los Angeles.”  

“I’m delighted to hear that after nearly two years of being wrongfully detained in Venezuela, Eyvin Hernandez will finally be reunited with his family,” said Senator Butler. “A big thank you is owed to his family and friends, as well as my colleagues for the relentless pursuit of Eyvin’s freedom.” 

“Today, Eyvin Hernandez, a beloved public defender who has long been a champion for vulnerable people, will be reunited with his loved ones after more than a year and a half of wrongful detainment,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro. “Eyvin’s family and friends worked tirelessly to advocate on his behalf, and I am proud to have stood with them, Congresswoman Kamlager-Dove, and my other colleagues in the House and Senate to call for his release. I am also glad to hear that several other Americans have been released along with Venezuelan political prisoners. Every American deserves to travel abroad free from the fear of being wrongfully detained and used as a political pawn, and we must continue to do everything in our power to make sure every unjustly imprisoned American abroad can make their way home.”