Family grateful for Utah man's 'miracle' Venezuela release

Joshua Holt and Thamara Candelo on their wedding day. Thamara's daughter Nathalia 7 is in the foreground

Joshua Holt and Thamara Candelo on their wedding day. Thamara's daughter Nathalia 7 is in the foreground

Mr. Trump welcomed him home in a tweet Saturday morning, after announcing his release, and said Holt would be coming to the White House. Sen.

Trump said Holt, 26, would be in Washington, D.C., Saturday evening at about 7 p.m. The government accused Holt and his wife of being spies who were hoarding weapons and attempting to overthrow the government, according to the Miami Herald.

Holt had traveled to Venezuela to marry his then-partner Thamara Caleño, a native to the country, in 2016 before he was taken into custody by Venezuelan authorities.

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

"I want to thank Chairman Bob Corker for his pivotal efforts, and that of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for their help in this effort".

The diplomacy succeeded despite tense relations between the US and Venezuela, with the Trump administration slapping increasingly severe sanctions on the socialist regime. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who said Holt soon would be reunited with "his sweet, long-suffering family" in Riverton, Utah.

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Utah man Joshua Holt and his wife Thamy have been in a Venezuelan prison since 2016 after being arrested for firearm offences. In their statement, the Holt family said, "We thank you for your collaboration during this time of anguish".

Holt's family says "we are grateful to all who participated in this miracle". -Venezuelan tensions that in the last week saw tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats, Washington's refusal to recognize the May 20 re-election of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and the imposition of new US sanctions on Caracas.

The United States accuses Maduro's government of stifling democracy, repressing the opposition and massive corruption.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has Trump's ear on Latin America issues and spoke to Trump at length Friday night, said the couple's release "will in no way change USA policy toward the dictatorship in Venezuela". 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.

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