Utah man jailed in a Venezuela for two years to be released

29 May, 2018, 08:02 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Correction Venezuela Jailed American-Improbable Release

Joshua Holt, a Utah native held in Venezuelan jail for almost two years, returned to us soil on Saturday, and was welcomed by President Trump.

A US citizen who was held in a Venezuelan prison for two years has met US President Donald Trump shortly after his release.

"Looking forward to seeing Joshua Holt this evening in the White House", Mr. Trump tweeted.

Holt joked that the time he spent in Venezuela was "not really the great vacation that I was looking for", and said that he was "so grateful", describing himself as "a normal person".

"I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude", Holt told Trump.

At a news conference in Caracas earlier on Saturday, Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said Holt and his wife were freed as part of efforts by Maduro's government to maintain "respectful diplomatic relations" with Washington. "In most cases, they're Americans, but we can try and help other countries, too, where there's injustice", the President said.

A White House official says Joshua Holt arrived Saturday evening at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Hatch said in a statement that Corker had been "pivotal" in the effort to secure Holt's release, although the Tennessee lawmaker downplayed his role as "small". "Sanctions continue until democracy returns to Venezuela", Pence said in a tweet. In this photo released by the Miraflores Presidential Press Office, Venezuela'.


"We want Josh to feel the love and that he wasn't forgotten", said Derek Holt, Josh's brother.

The U.S. promptly slapped new sanctions on the country, and Maduro expelled the top two American diplomats in Venezuela as payback. Restatements of demands for his release were issued by senior U.S. politicians, and Todd Robinson, then the chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, showed up at Venezuela's Foreign Affairs Ministry in Caracas to demand information about his safety.

An American man was freed from captivity in Venezuela on Saturday after being imprisoned by the South American country for almost two years, officials said.

On May 17, Holt issued a plea on Facebook, asking the United States government to help him return home.

The US contended Mr Holt was held on trumped-up charges. "They say they're doing things, but I'm still here", Holt said on May 16 in a clandestine video posted to Facebook, one of several pleas to the US government to free him, The Washington Post reported.

Sunday afternoon, dozens of community members met up with friends and family of Josh Holt at Riverton City Park to tie neon green ribbons along 12600 South to welcome him home.

Derek Holt, Josh's older brother said his family has had several close calls where they thought he'd be coming home, but didn't - most recently on Thanksgiving.

The US also refuses to recognise Maduro's re-election as president in a vote last week that was largely boycotted by the opposition. US officials say the charges were trumped up.

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