Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

American, wife freed from Venezuela jail arrive in US

American, wife freed from Venezuela jail arrive in US

Venezuela's Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said their release was a goodwill gesture that followed months of dialogue between the Maduro Government and U.S. politicians. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met with Venezuela's president, Nicolas Maduro, on Friday, two days after the embattled socialist leader kicked out the top USA diplomat in the country.

"I've seen in Venezuela people lined up outside grocery stores just to buy toilet paper", Corker said. The statement calls for free, fair and transparent elections consistent with the constitution of Venezuela, dismissing its May 20 elections as illegitimate.

The White House action would complicate Venezuela's efforts to sell off financial IOUs known as "accounts receivable".

RIVERTON- Josh and Thamy Holt have arrived home in Utah, where they were welcomed at Salt Lake City International Airport around 7 p.m. tonight.

A lot of people told me that Holt was being held by the Venezuelan government for so long because they were kind of trying to justify this overall view that they have that the US government is trying to overthrow the Maduro government. "It's incredible that you were able to take it ... that was a tough situation", Trump said during a televised meeting at the Oval Office with Holt's parents. "That was a tough situation", Trump said. Holt - as he said, he'd been held for almost two years.

Earlier this month, Holt was seen during a protest by opposition activists jailed at the massive hilltop structure, and had also appealed for United States help in a video posted on Twitter.

Holt's wife, Thamara Caleno, exchanged text messages with The Associated Press as she and Holt were traveling.

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The next morning, they were told to pack their things and prepare to go. "They were a very, very, very hard two years". Bob Corker, R-Tenn., right, and others, in the Oval Office of the White House, Saturday, May 26, 2018, in Washington. The official isn't authorized to speak about the matter by name.

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". Holt, who had been imprisoned in Venezuela for two years, was released following diplomat efforts by the Trump and Obama administrations.

The release of Holt, a Mormon missionary from Utah, comes despite deepening U.S.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had met in Caracas with Maduro on Friday. Corker flew back to the United States with the couple and Thamy's daughter from a previous marriage. The newlyweds were awaiting visas when Venezuelan police raided their apartment and arrested them on charges of terrorism, espionage and illegal possession of weapons. He was echoed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said USA policy remains unchanged. Holt's wife, Thamara, also was freed, said Sen. Obviously, Maduro did not need Senator Corker then.

Maduro shook hands with Corker in images broadcast on state TV from the presidential palace, which said the two were "strengthening global relationships", without offering more details. Joshua Holt was wearing a bright orange backpack and was surrounded by supporters.

Although Corker sealed the deal in a few tense hours in Venezuela's collapsing, crime-filled capital, the push to secure Holt's release began months earlier by Corker's top Latin American policy aide, Caleb McCarry, who both Corker and Sen. The two were waiting for Caleno's US visa when they were arrested at her family's apartment in a government housing complex.

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