MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Venezuelan man taken into custody while seeking asylum has been released.
Marco Coello, considered a political hero in his country, was jailed in Venezuela for protesting the government.
On the eve of facing a ten-year prison term, Coello fled Venezuela for the United States, where he believed he would make his case to be granted political asylum.
On Wednesday, he was taken into custody for overstaying his visa and because of a misdemeanor arrest
Afterwards Florida Senator Marco Rubio who has been critical of the Maduro government tweeted out about the release.
Leaving Krome early Thursday afternoon, Coello was greeted by his parents whom he hugged tightly.
“I’m good, very good, excited and confused but happy for liberty,” Coello said.
It appears Florida Senator Marco Rubio, intervened on Coello’s behalf.
After Coello’s arrest, Rubio tweeted “hope only misunderstanding otherwise how can administration condemn Maduro for jailing his opponents if we jail his opponents too.”
According to his staff, Senator Rubio phoned the White House Wednesday and spoke to Chief of Staff Reince Preibus and also called the Department of Homeland Security to plead Coello’s case.
Several hours later, Coello left Krome. His attorneys say there will be a hearing for political asylum in the coming months.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement on the matter Thursday saying,
“Marco Coello has one misdemeanor criminal conviction and did not depart the country in accordance with his visa. As a result, he violated the terms of his nonimmigrant status in the United States. As Secretary Kelly has stated, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”