Kidnapped Costa Rican diplomat released, is in ‘good health’: Venezuela

By Mario Naranjo, Reuters

CARACAS — A Costa Rican kidnapped during the weekend in the latest attack on foreign diplomats in Venezuela has been freed and is in good health, the government said on Tuesday. “Thanks to police investigation and pressure, we achieved the liberation of the Costa Rican diplomat,” Venezuelan Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami said on Twitter. He promised full details of the operation later in the day. Guillermo Cholele, a trade attache at the Costa Rican Embassy in Caracas, was seized on Sunday night as he returned to his home in La Urbina, a middle-class neighborhood in the eastern part of the capital. “He is in good physical state, under police protection en route to meet up with his family,” El Aissami said. Various diplomats stationed in Venezuela have been victims of robberies and “express” kidnappings — usually short abductions motivated by money — in recent months. One consul’s daughter was shot dead at a police roadblock. Local media said Cholele was 55 and had lived in Venezuela with his wife and two children for the past six years. His abductors had demanded a ransom, according to Costa Rica, but it was unclear if anything was paid.