American Freed From Venezuelan Prison Meets With Trump in Oval Office

American Citizen Held in Venezuela Released, Trump Announces

A source familiar with the issue, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters there was no quid pro quo or agreement to ease USA sanctions tied to Holt's release, and that Trump was not involved in the final negotiations.

A Utah man who has spent the last two years in a Venezuelan jail has been reunited with his family and taken to meet President Donald Trump after his release on Saturday.

NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty Images, This content is subject to copyright. The family was greeted that night at the White House by President Donald Trump. Thanks to @realdonaldtrump and others who I've had the pleasure to work with to secure Josh's freedom.

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".

Rubio also said Hatch had "worked tirelessly" for Holt's release. "That was a tough situation".

Joshua Holt, 26, from Utah has been held in a Venezuelan prison on allegations of spying for the USA, according to reports. Holt's mother, Laurie Holt, gave him a bear hug, not letting go for almost a minute as they both cried.

A statement that relatives provided Saturday confirms that Joshua Holt and his wife will be freed from detention in the capital of Caracas.

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They were tied around trees, poles, fences and other items as a way for the community to welcome home Josh Holt, who had been held captive in a Venezuelan prison for almost two years.

The family of Joshua Holt, who was recently released from a prison in Venezuela, father Jason Holt, left; sister, Marian Leal; mother, Laurie Holt, and his wife, Thamara Holt, right, sit on a couch in the Oval Office of the White House, May 26, 2018, in Washington. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who has advocated for Holt's release, said he's "honored" to be able to finally reunite the Utah native with his family.

Josh Holt's parents praised Trump, other administration officials and lawmakers involved in securing his and his wife's release.

Holt, a 26-year-old Mormon missionary from Utah, had travelled to Venezuela in June 2016 to marry Caleno, whom he had met on the internet. Authorities accused him of stockpiling an assault rifle and grenades, and suggested that his case was linked to other unspecified USA attempts to undermine Maduro's rule amid deep economic and political turbulence.

The Holts' direct family will be at the airport, along with U.S. Rep. Mia Love, who will ride with the family to Riverton for the community celebration, according to Saxton.

Holt was held without trial at the headquarters of intelligence agency Sebin, a Caracas complex known as the Helicoide.

In a harrowing recent Facebook post, Holt pleaded for help and for his life, from a Caracas jail. I've been begging my government for two years.

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