Family grateful for Utah mans miracle Venezuela release
May 31, 2018, 18:03
Surrounded by his family on one couch, and the lawmakers who had long sought his release on another, Holt was welcomed home in remarks to reporters in the Oval Office at the White House Sunday evening. Authorities arrested him on June 30, 2016 and accused him of using his wife's apartment in Caracas to stockpile weapons and suggesting his case was linked to other unspecified US attempts to undermine PresidentMaduro's rule amid deep economic and political turbulence. The elation on display was reinforced by Vice President Mike Pence who tweeted that Holt is "now back home with his family - where he always belonged". Hatch was officially notified Friday that Holt's release was being finalized, according to an official familiar with the events, and Corker had kept in close contact with Hatch, who had spoken several times with Maduro about Holt's situation.
Josh Holt, his wife Thamy and their daughter Marian are in a hospital after the couple's release from a Venezuelan prison, and the family hopes to return to Utah Tuesday.
"They were a very, very hard two years", he continued.
Maybe it was sanctions relief, a distraction from global condemnation of the election, an I.O.U. from Trump, or even a seat between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte at a future White House dinner, Kronick said in an email. "... There was "no quid pro quo or agreement to ease US sanctions tied to" his release".
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. Bob Corker of Tennessee held a surprise meeting in Caracas with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Hatch brought Holt's parents to the airport to reunite them Saturday evening.
The United States accuses Maduro's government of stifling democracy, repressing the opposition and massive corruption.
The riot was followed by various demands by United States officials in Caracas to visit Holt so they could make sure his health was not in danger.
Joining Trump in the Oval Officer were Corker, Utah Sens.
The video, posted on the Twitter account for Hatch's office, depicts Holt and his wife, Thamy, reuniting with family in the senator's Washington, D.C., office, with the caption "Reunited". And a number of politicians and diplomats have traveled to Caracas in recent months to try to negotiate his release. All the officials agreed to discuss details of the negotiations only on condition of anonymity.
Venezuelan authorities arrested Holt in June 2016 while he was in Venezuela for his wedding, and he was held without trial at the headquarters of intelligence agency Sebin, a Caracas complex known as the Helicoide. They called the release of their son and his wife a "miracle". Authorities arrested him on June 30, 2016, and accused him of stockpiling an assault rifle and grenades, suggesting his case was linked to other unspecified USA attempts to undermine Maduro's rule amid deep economic and political turbulence.
President Donald Trump says in a tweet that he expects to greet Holt at the White House later Saturday.
They also ask to be allowed to meet Holt and his wife before making any public statements.
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Swaraj also said India would continue trading with Venezuela, but there was no plan to use its local cryptocurrency in oil trade. Washington has also tightened sanctions against Venezuela over the controversial re-election of President Nicolas Maduro.
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