log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 10:08 AM
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 2:01 PM
— Update 9:25 p.m. EDT: President Donald Trump on Saturday evening welcomed Joshua Holt who had been held captive for two years in a Venezuelan jail, back to the United States.
Holt and his wife arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport after being released by Venezuelan officials following high level talks between President Nicolas Maduro and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.
Holt said he was “overwhelmed with gratitude.”
Thamara Caleno, Holt’s wife, told The Associated Press that until they were airborne, they worried their return might fall through.
Update 2:01 p.m. EDT: CNN reports that President Donald Trump will make a live address to the nation at 7 p.m. EST after he meets with Joshua Holt at the White House.
Update 10:43 a.m. EDT: Joshua Holt’s family has released a statement following the President’s announcement regarding his release from Caracas, Venezuela, calling it a “miracle.”
The Holt family stated:
“We thank you for your collaboration during this time of anguish,” the Associated Press reports. “We ask that you allow us to meet with our son and his wife before giving any interviews or statements. We are grateful to all who participated in this miracle.”
President Trump tweeted he is looking forward to meeting the family at the White House on Saturday night.
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
Original story: Joshua Holt, an American from Utah jailed in Venezuela for over two years without trial, is expected to be released and return to the United States Saturday night.
President Donald Trump tweeted that Holt was a “hostage” in the socialist country.
Holt is expected to arrive in Washington D.C., around 7 p.m. on Saturday night and will be reunited with his family at the White House.
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 is a Mormon missionary from Utah who was jailed in 2016 after traveling to Venezuela to marry a woman he met online, according to The New York Times.
He was accused of stockpiling weapons and arrested.
Holt has been held in a Caracas jail since 2016.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) posted a statement on Twitter, saying Holt’s release is the result of a two-year effort working with the Trump and Obama administrations and Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela.
Hatch says Holt's wife, Thamy Holt, had also been released but it is unclear if she will travel with her husband back to the United States.