US Politics

American detained for nearly two years in Venezuela released: Trump

0:00

US President Donald Trump announced that Venezuela has released American Joshua Holt after nearly two years in jail in the leftist-ruled country.

Trump, in a tweet, did not identify Holt by name but Utah Senator Orrin Hatch confirmed that the Utah resident had been freed.

"Good news about the release of the American hostage from Venezuela," Trump tweeted. "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!"

Holt's release came after Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met in Caracas Friday with President Nicolas Maduro.

Senator Hatch said Holt was on his way to the United States and praised Corker's "pivotal efforts."

Holt, a Mormon, was being held at a prison in Caracas known as the Helicoide where political prisoners are held by the Venezuelan intelligence service Sebin.

He was arrested shortly after arriving in Venezuela nearly two years ago.

He surfaced in a video calling on the US government to help get him out during a prison protest earlier this month by jailed opposition activists.

The Helicoide in Caracas where Joshua Holt was being held.
The Helicoide in Caracas where Joshua Holt was being held.
AAP

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

Maduro was re-elected to a six-year term in controversial elections May 20 that were boycotted by most opposition parties and rejected as illegitimate by the United States and other countries.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch