President Donald Trump announced Saturday that his administration has secured the release of 26-year-old Joshua Holt, a Utah native who has been held in a Venezuelan prison for two years without a trial.
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 great people of Utah will be very happy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018
Holt arrived in Venezuela in 2016 to marry a woman he met online, and he was thrown in jail just days after he arrived. His wife, Thamy, after being asked to provide their marriage license, was arrested as his accomplice.
Venezuelan officials claimed that Holt was a spy and that he was stockpiling weapons, but Holt says that his imprisonment was entirely political.
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, who has worked to secure Holt’s release for two years, responded to the president’s Saturday announcement with a statement of his own.
I’m pleased to announce that after two years of hard work, we’ve secured the release of Josh and Thamy Holt, who are now on their way home to the United States from Venezuela.
Over the last two years I’ve worked with two Presidential administrations, countless diplomatic contacts, ambassadors from all over the world, a network of contacts in Venezuela, and President Maduro himself, and I could not be more honored to be able to reunite Josh with his sweet, long-suffering family in Riverton.
The release comes just days after the United States increased sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s number two man, Diosdado Cabello. (RELATED: Venezuela Says U.S. Sanctions Attempt To ‘Sabotage’ Their Elections)