Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Trump says detained American released in Venezuela

Trump says detained American released in Venezuela

Gonzalo Himiob, a lawyer with Venezuelan rights group Penal Forum, said Holt was being transferred from jail to the US embassy in Caracas, and would leave for the United States on Saturday afternoon.

"I'm pleased to announce that after two years of hard work, ew've secured the release of Josh and Thamy Holt, who are now on their way home to the United States from Venezuela".

"Good news about the release of the American hostage from Venezuela", the president posted.

The newlyweds were awaiting visas when Venezuelan police raided their apartment and arrested them on charges of terrorism, espionage and illegal possession of weapons. Relations between the U.S. and Venezuela have been strained recently, particularly over the election which last week returned Maduro to power.

Holt will be returning to the United States with his wife, Thamara Caleño. "The great people of Utah will be very happy!"

Holt was thrown into Venezuela's notorious Helicoide prison, a compound filled with political prisoners who claim to have been subjected to torture and held without fair trials.

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Holt's family said they were "grateful to all who participated in this miracle". "We ask that you allow us to meet with our son and his wife before giving any interviews and statements".

Mr Maduro was re-elected to a six-year term last week but Washington has not recognised the outcome.

"I've been begging my government for two years".

Holt's release also came weeks after North Korea freed three American prisoners during a brief visit to the country by Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump must move beyond the art of the deal in North Korea talks Pompeo speaks with South Korean counterpart after Trump nixes Kim summit The Hill's 12:30 Report - Sponsored by Delta Air Lines - Trump now says Korea summit could still happen June 12 MORE. The U.S. contended Holt was held on trumped up charges.

On May 22 - two days after Maduro won reelection - Robinson and the USA deputy chief of mission, Brian Naranjo, were expelled from the country in a sharp escalation of diplomatic tensions.

The White House has not played a role in Holt's case over the last few months.

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