Utah Man Jailed In Venezuela For Two Years Set To Return Home

Utah Man Jailed In Venezuela For Two Years Set To Return Home

The Venezuelan government on Saturday released an American, Josh Holt, who it has held since 2016 on weapons charges, U.S. President Donald Trump and Utah Sen.

An American who was held in a Venezuelan prison for almost two years on weapons charges made it back to the U.S. Saturday evening where he was greeted by his family and President Trump. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

His post noted that the formerly imprisoned couple were expected to land in Washington D.C. Saturday evening and meet Holt's family at the White House. Orrin Hatch. Holt's wife, Thamy, has also been released, Hatch said.

Holt was arrested on weapons charges almost two years ago, after going to Venezuela in 2016 to marry a woman he met online while looking for Spanish-speaking Mormons to help him learn the language.

(Alex Brandon | AP Photo) President Donald Trump shakes hands with Joshua Holt, who was recently released from a prison in Venezuela, in the Oval Office of the White House, Saturday, May 26, 2018, in Washington.

Despite the expulsion of the American diplomats, the Venezuelan government has been seeking ways to avoid the threat of harsh US oil sanctions that could further cripple the country's ailing economy.

"You've gone through a lot, more than most people could endure", the President said to Holt as the two were seated side-by-side in the Oval Office.

President Trump welcomes a Utah native back home, after being jailed in Venezuela for more than two years.

The same day, he also posted a video saying "I've been begging my government for two years".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Saturday, "U.S. policy toward Venezuela remains unchanged". Trump said in a tweet.

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Trump told Holt. "But we've had 17 [prisoners] released", during the Trump administration, the president said.

The US contended Mr Holt was held on trumped-up charges.

Shortly after McCarry's visit, Lacava traveled to Washington in March to speak with several lawmakers including Hatch, Corker, Sen.

Holt and his wife were jailed almost two years on weapons charges that US officials considered bogus.

In a statement, the Holt family said, "We thank you for your collaboration during this time of anguish. I need your help to get me out of this place", Holt said in the video.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said this month that a senior department official had urged Holt's release on humanitarian grounds.

After their arrival the family says they will follow them to Riverton City Park for their surprise homecoming.

He apparently was referring to U.S. sanctions, which Washington has tightened since Maduro was re-elected on May 20 in elections that the United States rejected as a "sham".

Joshua Holt, a USA citizen and Mormon missionary, is pictured in this still image taken from a selfie video which he posted on Facebook during a riot at the Helicoide detention center in Caracas, Venezuela, obtained by Reuters May 16, 2018.

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