Relatives of a 33-year-old Venezuelan man of Barbadian heritage who have been at their wits end over his detention in a Caracas jail since January, are jumping for joy now that he has been released.
An over-the-moon Orna Odwin, who lives in Barbados, told Barbados TODAY this morning that her nephew Gregory Hinds, the head of a non-governmental organization that works to empower young people in Caracas through community-based programmes, was freed into the waiting arms of his mother Elsa on the evening of June 1.
The family had claimed that Hinds, who was born in the Spanish-speaking country to a Barbadian father and a Venezuelan mother, and who his aunt said is a Barbadian citizen, was a political prisoner that had been stripped of all his human rights and cut off from seeing his relatives during his incarceration.
However, their four-month-old nightmare has finally ended.
“We are very relieved that he is finally free. We spoke to him several times over the weekend and were elated to be able to speak to him and hear his voice,” his aunt told Barbados TODAY.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Barbados Embassy in Venezuela have been working with the Venezuelan authorities to facilitate his release and we are grateful for all their efforts and assistance. We, the family, are hopeful that an arrangement can be made for him to come to Barbados in the near future and we look forward to welcoming him here,” she added.
Back in March, Barbados TODAY highlighted Hinds’ detention with Odwin reporting then that her nephew, the executive director of Community Ambassadors Foundation in Caracas, had been accused by a judge of “public instigation and conspiracy” under Article 285 and 286 of the Venezuelan penal code. However, she was adamant that he had done nothing wrong.