Playback speed
Share post
Share post at current time

Surviving Captivity: Jose Pereira's Journey

From Hero to Villain | JOSE PEREIRA | Episode #156

From Hero to Villain: The Captivating Story of Jose Pereira

In this riveting episode of 'Live in the Lab,' host Keith Bilous interviews Jose Pereira, a former CEO of Citgo Petroleum, who was held captive in Venezuela for nearly five years from November 2017 to October 2022. Pereira shares his harrowing experience of being wrongfully detained as an American amidst the political tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela.

From his initial apprehension and brutal isolation to the glimmer of hope from hearing his wife's voice, Jose recounts his journey with raw honesty and emotional intensity.

He also talks about his newfound faith, the publication of his book 'From Hero to Villain,' and how his family tirelessly fought for his release.

This episode dives deep into the resilience of the human spirit and the complexities of international hostage negotiations.

Key Points

  • Jose Pereira shares his harrowing experience of being wrongfully detained in Venezuela for nearly five years, highlighting the severe psychological and physical challenges he faced during his captivity.

  • He emphasizes the crucial role of faith and mental resilience in surviving such an ordeal, detailing how his belief system and a strong sense of purpose helped him endure the isolation and harsh conditions.

  • Jose discusses the complexities of hostage diplomacy, revealing the intricate negotiations and political maneuvers involved in securing his release, and underscores the importance of international awareness and intervention in such situations.


  • 00:00 Jose Pereira's Captivity in Venezuela

  • 00:47 Introduction and Initial Banter

  • 00:57 Keith and Steve's Viral Moments

  • 02:12 Technical Difficulties and Patience

  • 02:28 Welcoming Jose Pereira

  • 04:40 Jose's Background and Family

  • 05:51 The Hostage Situation Unfolds

  • 10:59 Isolation and Survival

  • 14:27 Hostage Diplomacy and Global Implications

  • 18:46 U.S. Government's Role in Hostage Negotiations

  • 23:07 Jose's Release and Continued Advocacy

  • 26:11 Biggest Revelation and Faith in Captivity

  • 28:10 Emotional Dynamics with Captors

  • 30:06 Release and Reflections

  • 31:51 Negotiations and Final Release

  • 36:43 Return to America

  • 41:26 Survivor Guilt and Reunions

  • 43:30 Final Thoughts and Future Plans

Read null in the Substack app
Available for iOS and Android

Connect with Jose Pereira:

Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous
Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous
Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous is a daily LIVE talk show for creators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, athletes and startup founders. We share interesting stories from interesting people to entertain, inspire, and inform you.
We like to dig into the moment behind the moment while digging even deeper into the next moment using curiosity as the driving principle of our conversation.
If you are looking for content and conversation designed to move you, inspire you and help you be accountable to your next in life. Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous is the place for you.