A Mormon Missionary Held in a Venezuelan Prison Is Coming Home

A Mormon Missionary Held in a Venezuelan Prison Is Coming Home

A Utah man jailed in Venezuela on weapons charges almost two years ago was released Saturday after a USA senator pressed for his freedom in a surprise meeting with President Nicolas Maduro.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) shared the heartwarming moment Saturday that Utah native Joshua Holt and his wife were reunited with his parents after two years of imprisonment by the Venezuelan government.

Holt, a Utah citizen, and his wife Thamy, were returning to the United States and were expected to arrive in Washington on Saturday evening, Trump tweeted.

"Good news about the release of the American hostage from Venezuela", President Donald Trump said via Twitter. "The great people of Utah are Celebrating!"

Mr Holt, now 26, set out for the South American country in June 2016 to marry a woman he met online while he was looking for Spanish-speaking Mormons who could help him improve his Spanish.

Trump later hosted the family in the Oval Office and told Holt he was "brave" and "went through a lot".

"We're home", tweeted United States Senator Bob Corker, whose meeting in Caracas Friday with President Nicolas Maduro paved the way for the release of Joshua Holt and Thamara Caleno.

The Utah senator added: "I could not be more honored to be able to reunite Josh with his sweet, long-suffering family in Riverton". The family was greeted that night at the White House by President Donald Trump.

Holt's Venezuelan wife, Thamara, was arrested alongside him, but was also freed on Saturday and brought to the USA with her daughter. Holt, who had been imprisoned in Venezuela for two years, was released following diplomat efforts by the Trump and Obama administrations.

Pompeo Seeks 'Credible' North Korean Steps Toward Denuclearization
Libya's longtime autocratic leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed several years later after a Western-backed military intervention. Mr Pompeo said the U.S. was prepared to walk away from the talks and a "bad deal" was not an option.

Venezuelan state television showed Corker and Maduro shaking hands Friday, before holding a closed door meeting at the presidential palace.

"I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude for you guys, for everything that you've done", Holt said.

Holt, who'd been held in the El Helicoide intelligence agency prison, published a Facebook video earlier this month pleading for help and claiming his life was in danger.

Trump told Holt that he had been "incredibly brave" to endure nearly two years in a Venezuelan prison.

"I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude for you guys, for everything that you've done", Holt said, noting it was "very, very hard two years".

The State Department has called the weapons charges "questionable".

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.

A Mormon missionary, Holt, now 26, had traveled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry a fellow Mormon.

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

Related News:



Most liked

Joe Root Adamant of 'Way Forward' for England After Pakistan Thrashing
Anderson bowled Azhar in the third over but Sohail didn't hang around, hitting six fours and a six in a 32-ball knock. Buttler was 66 not out and Bess 55 not out after the 20-year-old marked his Test debut with a fine fifty.

Lega Party Calls on Italian President to Elect New Parliament
Under the constitution, Mattarella names both the premier and ministers-the latter at the premier's suggestion. Conte's rejection paves the way for a new government crisis that could lead the country to a new election.

Thompson hot hand carries Warriors into Game 7 with Rockets
For Houston , point guard James Harden led their scoring with 32 points, as well as nine assists and seven rebounds. And we found ourselves with a Western Conference finals series knotted at three games apiece instead.

Harvey Weinstein Prosecutors Eyeing Obscure Law in Investigation
Entertainment industry heavyweights have distanced themselves from Weinstein since the accusations became public. In the retrial, the judge allowed five other accusers to tell similar stories of alleged abuse at his hands.

Nipah Scare: Odisha health dept issues alert to hospitals; MoHFW issues guidelines
The report said that this was the fourth death in the family with Moosa's two sons and sister-in-law dying from the disease. A nurse who treated three of the Kerala victims succumbed to the infection on Monday, Health Minister K.K.

Subtropical Storm Alberto forms; watches issued for U.S., Mexico, Cuba
Forecasters expect Alberto to intensify to a tropical storm Friday evening, but do not anticipate it to become a hurricane. The overall track of Alberto will be important to the amount of rain that can be expected across the Carolinas.

FBI, Justice Department Leaders Meet Over Trump Informant Allegations
The president demanded the Justice Department investigate the accusations and turn over any relevant documents to Congress. Sharyl Attkisson compiles " 8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump's campaign ".

Columbia's Knight Institute wins First Amendment lawsuit against Trump
Should Trump ignore the ruling, analysts say, future litigation could force Twitter to unblock Trump's followers unilaterally. The blocked: Along with Cohen, several other Twitter users have accused Trump of blocking them on Twitter.

Memorial Day 2018 parades, ceremonies and festivals
For more information, call Fuller at 360-837-3470 or Washougal Parks and Cemetery Program Manager Suzanne Grover at 360-835-2662. The parade will start at noon on the corner of Kinsey and Main Street and end at the Caledonia Lakeside Cemetery for a ceremony.

Hawaii volcano overwhelms neighborhood with river of molten misery
The caustic plume, which can be fatal if inhaled, is the latest hazard in an eruption that shows no signs of stopping. "The air quality has been so bad that everybody has been walking around with a (dust) mask".

Manchester holds mass singalong for arena victims on anniversary of attack
People laid flowers and cards in St Ann's Square, which became a focal point for mourners after the attack . One year on from the attack , Prime Minister Theresa May leaves a message on a "Tree of Hope" in Manchester.

Trump threatens Kim Jong-Un with same fate as Gaddafi
The inflammatory comments came at a time when the June summit is in doubt. US President Donald Trump (left) and North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un.

Syria's Assad Meets With Russia's Putin In Sochi
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the meeting, which had not been announced in advance, took place on Thursday. The UN has hosted several rounds of peace talks in Geneva that have made no progress towards ending the conflict.

Michael Cohen Offered Qatar Investments Access To Trump. The Offer Was Declined
Before taking office, Trump said he shifted day-to-day control of his business to his sons, primarily Eric Trump . That revelation came after months of denials from Trump that he knew anything about the payment.

Yanny/Laurel conundrum: The science behind the confusing audio clip explained
Yanny or Laurel - if you have somehow managed to miss this one, which I find impossible, you'll find the lowdown here. On Thursday night he retweeted the White House video.