American 'hostage' Josh Holt has been released from Venezuela, Trump says

Thamara Candelo and her husband Joshua Holt

Holt's release comes more than a week after he posted videos to Facebook during a prison riot, pleading for help from Americans and the U.S. government.

Holt's release came after Republican Senator Bob Corker visited Caracas this week to meet with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to seek the U.S. citizen's freedom, according to local media. Holt had been accused by Venezuelan officials of stockpiling weapons and grenades in public housing, a charge that he denies, and his incarceration had become a major flash point in relations between Caracas and Washington.

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, who both Corker and Sen.

U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands during a meeting with Joshua Holt after his return to the U.S.at the White House on May 26, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Venezuela's Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said their release was a goodwill gesture that followed months of dialogue between the Maduro Government and USA politicians.

He said it was part of "efforts to maintain a respectful dialogue, diplomatic relations of respect, that permit gates to be opened to avoid the aggressions to which (Venezuela) has been subjected". After Nicolas Maduro was re-elected president earlier this week, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions.

Holt traveled to Venezuela in June 2016 to marry his wife Thamy, whom he had met online. Venezuela contended Holt was a spy involved in trying to destabilize the country. In December, the Justice Ministry chose to bring the couple to trial, and rejected a petition for his conditional release.

Holt and his wife, Thamy, have been held in a Venezuelan prison since 2016. Sen.

He surfaced in a video calling on the U.S. government to help get him out during a prison protest earlier this month by jailed opposition activists.

"I'm calling on the people of America".

"I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude", he told the president.

Hatch said in a statement that Corker had been "pivotal" in the effort to secure Holt's release, although the Tennessee lawmaker downplayed his role as "small". "Sanctions continue until democracy returns to Venezuela", US Vice-President Mike Pence said in a tweet.

"We thank you for your collaboration during this time of anguish", Holt's family said in a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday.

His release comes after lobbying by his family and USA officials.

The Trump administration tightened financial sanctions on cash-strapped Venezuela after the vote.

After the presidential election in Venezuela last Sunday, the USA stepped up the diplomatic pressure against that country, which led to reciprocal expulsions of representatives of both countries.

A spokesperson for the Venezuelan government said in a statement, "The Judicial Power gave the corresponding benefit of full freedom to these two citizens who at this time are flying to the United States". "We're doing all the right things". He thanked those in the room for supporting his wife through a "very, very, very hard two years".

Most economists attribute the oil-rich country's economic collapse to years of mismanagement, corruption and a period of sharply lower oil prices.

Related News:



Most liked

New Zealand to cull 126,000 cows to eradicate disease
She said the cull, the majority of which would take place over the next two years, would aim to eradicate the disease completely. We have a real chance of eradication to protect our more than 20,000 dairy and beef farms, but only if we act now.

Storm Alberto: State of EMERGENCY issued as huge storms smash into US
The storm is expected to spin up multiple tornadoes as it marches inland after making landfall this afternoon. Thousands have been evacuated from the coast of Florida as the region braces for subtropical storm Alberto .

Arkansas Selected To Host Second Straight NCAA Regional
The entire 64-team bracket and national seeds will be unveiled during Monday's selection show, which airs live on ESPNU at 9 a.m. It will host a four-team regional this week at Conrad Park in DeLand, Florida, where it is 29-3 this season.

U.S. warships sail near South China Sea islands claimed by Beijing
Chinese defence chiefs have said USA warships entered the waters and did not leave when warned by Beijing's warships and aircraft. Chinese officials have accused Washington of viewing their country in suspicious, "Cold War" terms.

Republic of Ireland votes Yes to reformation of abortion legislation
Under current law, the practice of abortion in Ireland is illegal, unless the mother's life is deemed to be endangered. There, approximately 1,000 women travel to England each year to have an abortion or buy abortion pills online.

US Withdraws China's Invite To RIMPAC Military Drills
China's Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi said the United States decision to exclude it from Rimpac was "very non-constructive". Countries surrounding the South China Sea could eventually find themselves forced to accept Chinese hegemony in the region.

House Democrats question DHS chief's claim of ignorance about Russian election interference
A representative of Nielsen's defended her Tuesday comments, saying the reporter's question that preceded them was misleading. In the 2017 assessment, the FBI, CIA and NSA all agreed that Russian Federation interfered with a preference for Trump.

'American Idol' Contestants Caleb Lee Hutchinson & Maddie Poppe Are Dating
Maddie Poppe is your next American Idol! "I've known her since Hollywood Week, and she actually happens to be my girlfriend ". Maddie adds, "I just can't even believe, you know I felt like I was kind of an underdog for a while".

EXTRA: M&S Annual Profit Falls As Costs Of Transformation Plan Hit
Prior to Wednesday's update analysts were on average forecasting an underlying pretax profit of 555 million pounds for 2018-19. The figure of more than 100 closures includes 21 that have already shut and 14 stores newly identified for closure.

Deadline Nears To Register To Vote In Upcoming Oklahoma Primary Election
Am I allowed time off from work to vote? Voting only takes a few minutes and polls are located in many convenient locations. This includes spouses as well as anyone traveling or living out of the country during the election.

YouTube launching music streaming, rebranding YouTube Red
YouTube is the #1 way most people listen to music on the internet, via musc videos , but most people are doing that for free . We say this because YouTube has announced two new products that will replace YouTube Red .

'Uphill Battle,' But Net Neutrality Defenders Say Victory in House Possible
Pai's net neutrality repeal is slated to take effect on June 11 , unless Congress stops it. The symbolic move was led by the Democrats, with the support of three Republican Senators.

FDA greenlights first nonopioid drug for opioid withdrawal
Treatment with Lucemyra may lessen the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms but it may not completely prevent them. Lucemyra is an oral, selective alpha 2-adrenergic receptor agonist that reduces the release of norepinephrine.

Rapper TI arrested outside of his gated community in Henry County
The rapper, born Clifford Harris Jr ., was cuffed by police in Henry County, Georgia, around 4 a.m., WSB-TV Atlanta reported . T.I.'s attorney, Steve Sadow told TMZ that the security guard who T.I. had the altercation with was asleep when he arrived.

North Korea nuclear site to be dismantled - US monitor
US researchers say recent satellite imagery shows that North Korea has begun dismantling facilities at its nuclear test site. Bush removed North Korea from the list in October 2008 after the country agreed to continue disabling its nuclear plant.