Utahn Josh Holt Lands In U.S. After Release From Venezuelan Prison
Josh Holt landed in the United States on Saturday afternoon after nearly two years behind bars in Venezuela. Holt was arrested on illegal weapon charges and his release is the result of nearly nonstop diplomatic efforts.
Holt, 26, of Riverton, traveled to Venezuela two years ago to get married to his now wife Thamy Caleno. Holt is a former missionary for the Mormon church and learned Spanish during his two years of service. He met his future wife online as he was looking for people to help improve his Spanish.
The newlyweds were arrested shortly after their summer wedding in 2016 for a weapons charge that they, and Holt's family in Utah, have repetedly denied.
Earlier this month, Holt made a plea via Facebook video during a riot at his Caracas prison.
On Friday, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker met with Venezuela’s president and arranged a release for Holt and his wife. This was the result of repeated attempts of negotiation primarily led by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
Both Hatch and Corker joined the Holt family for its reunion.
President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday morning that he is looking forward to seeing Holt and his family in the White House.
Looking forward to seeing Joshua Holt this evening in the White House. The great people of Utah are Celebrating!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018