Utah Main Jailed in Venezuela Will Return to US

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U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that Venezuela has released American Joshua Holt after almost two years in jail in the leftist-ruled country.

An American who was held in a Venezuelan prison for almost two years on weapons charges made it back to the U.S. Saturday evening where he was greeted by his family and President Trump. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., traveled to Caracas on Friday and was shown on state television shaking hands with the president.

President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday morning about Holt's return, saying he was looking forward to greeting him at the White House later that day.

Trump said Holt, 26, would be in Washington, D.C., Saturday evening at about 7 p.m.

Holt told Trump: "I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude", adding his imprisonment on weapons charges had been very hard and "not really the great vacation I was looking for".

Holt, a 26-year-old Mormon missionary from Utah, had travelled to Venezuela in June 2016 to marry Caleno, whom he had met on the internet.

Until Trump's tweet on Saturday, the USA had stopped short of publicly calling Holt a "hostage".

Maduro was re-elected to a six-year term last week, but the US joins other countries in rejecting the outcome, widely seen as a result of vote-rigging. A few hours later President Donald Trump welcomed them to the White House.

Holt is from Hatch's state of Utah.

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Mr. Holt's release also comes just days after he posted two short videos to Facebook pleading for the United States government to help him.

He says fellow Republican Sen.

Other members of Congress expressed their elation over Holt's release. "I'm very dizzy and I can't think and my stomach hurts", Holt said. Corker started talks with Venezuela's government earlier this year at Hatch's request, he said.

He recently appeared in a secretly shot video in which he begged for help from the US government, and claimed his life was being threatened.

Holt and his wife were being held at a prison in Caracas known as the Helicoide where the Sebin keeps political prisoners.

Mr Trump praised Mr Holt's bravery and thanked politicians who lobbied for his release, as well as Mr Holt's parents.

The release came two weeks after North Korea released three American hostages ahead of a planned summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un - a meeting Trump canceled but has since said could be rejuvenated.

The Holts' direct family will be at the airport, along with U.S. Rep. Mia Love, who will ride with the family to Riverton for the community celebration, according to Saxton. State Department officials lined the back wall of the Oval Office. "They want to kill me and paint the walls with my blood".

After being sworn in for a new six-year term this week - in a vote condemned by the U.S.as a "sham" after the main opposition parties boycotted it - Maduro called for the release of some detained prisoners, without naming anyone specifically.