Congress to press State Department on incarcerated American in Bolivia

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In addition, four New York Democrats — Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velázquez — have written an open letter to the Bolivian government calling for Ostreicher to be granted bail. The case threatens to further damage U.S. relations with the leftist government of President Evo Morales, who is close to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and has taken issue with U.S. anti-narcotics tactics and policy.

Here is the full text of the petition: 

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

Exercise the powers vested in you to see to it that Jacob Ostreicher, a US citizen, is freed from Bolivia.

Jacob Ostreicher, an American, has been suffering in a Bolivian prison for more than 11 months. He is being held without a shred of evidence.

On 09/23/2011, the judge ordered his release based on evidence submitted by the defense, just days later the same judge reversed his decision and was promoted. A new judge resigned after 5 scheduled hearings.

We expect that in times of need, our government will be serious about, adamant enough, and powerful enough, to provide its citizens protection and asylum.

In your capacity as President of the U.S., we urge you to exercise the powers vested in you, to see to it that Jacob does not spend another day in this anarchic prison

With all avenues having been exhausted, it is up to you, Mr. President to make sure an innocent man walks free.