Published: Sun, May 27, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

American Citizen Held in Venezuela Released, Trump Announces

American Citizen Held in Venezuela Released, Trump Announces

A week ago, the chances of Holt's long ordeal ending any time soon looked slim. In retaliation, he was branded the CIA's spy boss in Latin America by the head of the ruling socialist party.

After his victory, Maduro expelled the two most senior US diplomats for allegedly conspiring to sabotage the election by pushing opposition parties to boycott the election. Holt has been in a Caracas jail without a trial for two years on what he has said are false weapons charges.

The 26-year-old's long-awaited arrival comes after he spent roughly two years incarcerated in Venezuela after traveling to the country in the summer of 2016 to marry Thamara Candelo. Police arrested Holt after finding an assault rifle and grenades during a raid on a housing complex where the couple lived.

Although Corker sealed the deal in a few tense hours in Venezuela's collapsing, crime-filled capital, the push to secure Holt's release began months earlier by Corker's top Latin American policy aide, Caleb McCarry, whom Corker and Sen. Holt is a native of Utah.

"Those two years, they were a very, very, very hard two years".

He blames a U.S. All the officials agreed to discuss details of the negotiations only on condition of anonymity. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the administration refused to meet with Maduro's envoy.

Utah man who was held in a Venezuelan prison returns to the U.S.

The Trump administration has threatened crippling oil sanctions on Venezuela for Mr Maduro's decision to go forward with the presidential election last week.

President Trump heralded the release in a tweet.

Trump responded by calling Holt fearless.

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The same hashtag was used in the same-sex marriage referendum in 2016, encouraging ex-pats overseas to return to Ireland to vote. Campaigning was not allowed Friday , but Dublin was still filled with signs and banners urging citizens to vote "yes" or "no".

After Corker's meeting with Maduro, there was speculation on social media platforms in Venezuela that the couple would be released as a goodwill gesture to improve U.S. He was looking for a Mormon bride who spoke Spanish.

"Holt's continued imprisonment was a thorn in the side", he said.

Holt's release came after Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met in Caracas Friday with President Nicolas Maduro.

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

"Josh Holt is on American soil again!" "And so know that we are engaged", Pompeo told lawmakers at the hearing.

The Maduro government has not commented on the reasons for the release.

Holt says he has "been begging my government for two years". It is unclear how Holt gained access to a cellphone or the internet from El Helicoide, or the Helix, prison in Caracas.

See the video embeded above for their emotional reunion. He walked by the camera shouting "Dracula on the attack!" and flashing a "V for Victory" sign. "Honored to greet Josh Holt's parents at the airport".

Goodman reported from Bogotá, Colombia.

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