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Joshua Holt, American jailed in Venezuela, has been released, says Sen. Hatch

31 May 2018

Orrin Hatch of Utah worked tirelessly for Holt's family.

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.

"In the end, Corker was the closer", the official said. Maduro handed over Holt and his wife, Thamara Caleno, to Corker in what his government said was a goodwill gesture to promote dialogue and mutual respect between the two antagonistic governments.

Holt, a Utah native, arrived at the White House with his wife, Thamy, who had also been imprisoned, shortly after flying back from Venezuela earlier on Saturday.

Joshua Holt, an American who was jailed in Venezuela, has been released and is returning home, according to President Trump and Sen.

Joshua Holt, who traveled to Venezuela from Utah in 2016 to marry a Spanish-speaking Mormon woman but soon found himself jailed and later branded the CIA's top spy in Latin America, has been set free by the anti-American Maduro government.

Holt's parents have said their son was kept in appalling conditions, with meager food and limited access to health services, at El Helicoide, the infamous political prison in central Caracas. The newlyweds were awaiting visas when Venezuelan police raided their apartment and arrested them on charges of terrorism, espionage and illegal possession of weapons. A almost two-year nightmare behind bars ensued.

Maduro ordered the release after meeting with Republican U.S. Senator Bob Corker in Caracas.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., spoke to Trump at length Friday night and later said the couple's release "will in no way change USA policy toward the dictatorship in Venezuela". Bob Corker of Tennessee, were on a flight back to the USA on Saturday afternoon. Bob Corker of Tennessee, flew back to the U.S. on Saturday afternoon. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "I want to particularly thank Caleb McCarry, whose expertise and effort in Venezuela on my behalf has been instrumental in bringing Josh home", he said, referring to an aide of Corker's.

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"They are now flying toward the United States", he said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said 'US policy toward Venezuela remains unchanged'.

News of Holt's return him was praised by others in Congress as well. Sen.

The president used the opportunity to target the previous administration and boast about the other prisoners his administration has freed since he took office, including the three men earlier this month who were let go by North Korea.

Nicmer Evans, a Venezuelan political analyst, said Holt's reversal of fortune comes as Maduro is trying to find legitimacy after that vote - and relief from a barrage of worldwide sanctions.

An emotional video posted on Twitter by Sen.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says he played a small role in bringing home a Utah man jailed in Venezuela for almost two years.

"I'm publishing this video saying everyone is fine here, I'm doing okay".

Joshua Holt, American jailed in Venezuela, has been released, says Sen. Hatch