Here's how it went down, according to this BBC report.
For months it has been reported by Hugo Chavez that he was working hard to secure the release of these people. Notice how Chavez had nothing to do with any of this. Hard work and perseverance from Colombians and Americans got this job done.
It's the market, stupid.
With all of the buzz about the Fairness Doctrine, the reported $400 million deal that Rush Limbaugh just pulled down must really be rankling proponents of that bogus proposal. I do not listen to Rush, but great for him if someone is willing to pay that much to him. It shows he is generating some revenue, somewhere. Other than Ed Schultz's liberal show, none of the previous attempts could not generate the amount needed to ensure their longevity. So the liberals, in desperate moves to get their message, out must circumvent the market to force networks and stations to equalize things.
Put on a show that will generate listeners and they too can draw this kind of money.