Utah Main Jailed in Venezuela Will Return to US

Pauline Gross
May 28, 2018

In a later tweet, Trump said, "Looking forward to seeing Joshua Holt this evening in the White House".

Corker said he was "honored to play a small role" in bringing the Holts back to the United States, and Hatch thanked him for his "pivotal efforts", as well as that of Caleb McCarry, a Corker foreign policy aide who accompanied Corker on the trip. A secret backchannel has opened up in 2018, between normally hostile Venezuelan and US officials to discuss the possible release of Joshua Holt, jailed for more than 20 months in the volatile South American nation, multiple congressional sources have told the AP.

Holt had traveled to Venezuela in June 2016 to marry Thamara Caleño, whom he met on an online Mormon dating site.

Holt and his wife, Thamy, have been held in a Venezuelan prison since 2016. Sen.

Speaking at a news conference in Caracas, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said Holt and his wife, Thamy, were freed as part of efforts by Maduro's government to maintain "respectful diplomatic relations" with Washington.

Trump ignored a question on if Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro had gotten anything in exchange for the release of Josh Holt.

Mr. Corker, the Tennessee Republican who leads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, secretary met Friday with Mr. It was "amazing that you were able to take it", Trump said of the 26-year-old.

While neither side has released an official statement, reports said the visit was an attempt by Corker to negotiate for the release of Joshua Holt.

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

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Trump also said that his administration is "in the midst of some very big negotiations" in an effort to secure the release of other individuals. "They want to kill me and paint the walls with my blood".

Holt, 26, of Utah thanked the president and all the government officials who worked to get him out.

Mr Trump, in a tweet, described Mr Holt as a "hostage".

Holt, who had changed from his blue jeans into a navy blue suit and tie for the White House visit, looked calm and at ease sitting next to Trump.

"This wouldn't have happened without you", Hatch said. He and his wife were arrested soon after, accused of stockpiling weapons. "Sanctions continue until democracy returns to Venezuela".

The US also refuses to recognise Maduro's re-election as president in a vote last week that was largely boycotted by the opposition. On Friday, the government freed 20 political prisoners in the interior state of Zulia.

Earlier in May, Holt made a desperate Facebook plea for help after a riot at the prison where they were held.

Venezuela's communications minister, Jorge Rodriguez, said their release was a goodwill gesture that followed months of dialogue between the Maduro government and USA lawmakers.

Other reports by GizPress

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