Trump announces release of American held in Venezuela

- Mei 26, 2018

President Donald Trump on Saturday announced that an American citizen held in Venezuela would be released and on U.S. soil by Saturday evening.

"Good news about the release of the American hostage from Venezuela. Should be landing in D.C. this evening and be in the White House, with his family, at about 7:00 P.M," the president wrote on Twitter. "The great people of Utah will be very happy!"

Josh Holt of Utah was arrested in 2016 after traveling to Venezuela to marry a woman he met online. According to a Washington Post report, Holt was accused of stockpiling weapons in public housing.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Saturday he has worked with both the Obama and Trump administrations alongside diplomatic contacts to help secure the release of Holt and his wife Thamy.

"I could not be more honored to be able to reunite Josh with his sweet, long-suffering family in Riverston," Hatch said in a statement.

The Utah Republican praised Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) for his "pivotal efforts" and singled out Caleb McCarry, a staffer on the committee, for his work in bringing Holt home.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro held onto power in last week's national elections, which the White House has labeled a "sham." Maduro expelled the top U.S. diplomat stationed there on Tuesday, a move that came a day after the U.S. slapped new sanctions on the country.


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