Detained American Released In Venezuela

Detained American Released In Venezuela

Trump said Holt, 26, would be in Washington, D.C., Saturday evening at about 7 p.m.

Holt is from Hatch's state of Utah.

Holt, now 26, set out for the South American country in June 2016 to marry a woman he met online while looking for Spanish-speaking Mormons who could help him improve his Spanish.

Maduro shook hands with Corker in images broadcast on state TV from the presidential palace, which said the two were "strengthening worldwide relationships", without offering more details. 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.

Trump had previewed his plans to meet Holt earlier in the day on Twitter.

Speculation swirled that the government was demanding an all-but-impossible prisoner exchange for Flores' two nephews, who in 2016 were convicted in NY of drug trafficking, after it was learned that a government-connected Venezuelan tycoon was paying Holt's legal fees as well as those of the men branded the "narco-nephews".

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says he played a small role in bringing home a Utah man jailed in Venezuela for almost two years. Holt planned to return to the United States with his new wife and two stepchildren, but they never made it back. The couple was arrested on weapons charges that USA officials dismiss as trumped up.

American Joshua Holt has been set free by the Venezuela's Maduro Government, in what his family has described as "this miracle", after spending almost two years in jail accused of being a spy for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Joshua Holt arrived Saturday evening at Washington Dulles International Airport.

More news: Storm Alberto: When will subtropical storm make landfall? Thousands forced to evacuate

Maduro has insisted Venezuela is the victim of an "economic war" waged by the conservative opposition and external powers including the United States aimed at toppling him.

"You were a tough one, I have to tell you, that was a tough situation", the President said to Holt, adding that he is "very proud" of the administration's overall track record.

His release comes after lobbying by his family and US officials. "You better really live a good life", Hatch quipped. Venezuela contended Holt was a spy involved in trying to destabilize the country.

Maduro went forward with a presidential elections last week that the US has called a "sham".

The Venezuelan president then retaliated by giving the two top USA diplomats in the country 48 hours to leave, accusing them of conspiring against his government.

Still, when Corker left for Caracas on Friday it was still unclear if Maduro would follow through on his pledge to release Holt, the officials said.

On Friday, the government released 20 jailed activists held in the western state of Zulia amid moves by Maduro to ease domestic tensions.

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted just as Holt's plane landed that while he was "very glad" Holt was back home, sanctions against the country would "continue until democracy returns to Venezuela".

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