Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Trump hails release of American jailed in Venezuela for two years

Trump hails release of American jailed in Venezuela for two years

Mr. Holt said that he was "overwhelmed with gratitude".

"The Maduro regime must call free, fair, and transparent elections, consistent with its constitution", a statement issued by the White House said.

"Welcome you to the White House".

"Very glad that Josh Holt is now back home with his family - where he has always belonged", U.S. Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a tweet.

A lot of people told me that Holt was being held by the Venezuelan government for so long because they were kind of trying to justify this overall view that they have that the US government is trying to overthrow the Maduro government.

Joshua Holt was accused of being the CIA's top spy in Latin America by senior Venezuelan officials but USA officials, including Trump, say he was held "hostage". "It really touches me, and thank you".

"Holt says he has 'been begging my government for two years".

Holt and his wife had been charged with espionage, violence and spreading activities against Venezuela's constitutional order, he said.

Trump on Friday night called Corker in Caracas and spoke to Lacava briefly to express his appreciation for Holt's release, according to two USA officials with knowledge of the call.

The next morning, they were told to pack their things and prepare to go.

His Salt Lake City welcoming committee included Caleno's daughter from a previous relationship, 7-year-old Nathalia Carrasco, who has been living at Laurie Holt's home since February. The official isn't authorized to speak about the matter by name.

The release of Joshua Holt does not change United States policy, and will continue to use all available tools and options to pressure the Maduro regime to abide by democratic norms, and will continue to build a broad global coalition of like-minded partners who want to see the return of democracy to the people of Venezuela.

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Holt's release comes a day after Sen. The newlyweds were awaiting visas when Venezuelan police raided their apartment and arrested them on charges of terrorism, espionage and illegal possession of weapons.

"In the end, Corker was the closer", the official said. "I could not be more honored to be able to reunite Josh with his sweet, long-suffering family in Riverton".

"I can't deceive anybody, they are going to create grave difficulties, painful difficulties", he said. On one gold couch in the Oval Office sat Holt's family, and on the other couch sat Sen.

Corker on Friday met personally with President Nicola Maduro.

Corker was seen live on state TV on Friday shaking hands with Maduro and being greeted by first lady Cilia Flores as he entered the presidential palace. Joshua Holt was wearing a bright orange backpack and was surrounded by supporters. 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 and his wife were jailed almost two years on weapons charges that USA officials considered bogus. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Sen. Corker negotiated the release with Maduro.

Holt was arrested on weapons charged during a trip to Venezuela to marry a woman he'd met on a website to practice Spanish.

Following the vote, Maduro expelled US charge d'affaires Todd Robinson and his deputy for allegedly conspiring to sabotage the vote by pressuring opposition parties to boycott the election, which had the lowest voter turnout in decades. They called the release of their son and his wife a "miracle".

A statement that relatives provided Saturday confirms that Joshua Holt and his wife will be freed from detention in the capital of Caracas. The couple has denied the charge of concealing weapons.

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.

Other members of Congress expressed their elation over Holt's release.

They also ask to be allowed to meet Holt and his wife before making any public statements.

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