Twenty-six-year-old Joshua Holt had been a prisoner in Venezuela since the summer of 2016, but on Saturday he told U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House that he was "overwhelmed with gratitude" for those who had worked for his release.
"We haven't had a chance to talk to him yet because they whisk him away so fast", Jason Holt, Josh's father, said. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, arrived at Dulles Airport Saturday evening.
A source familiar with the issue who asked to remain anonymous said there was no quid pro quo or agreement to ease US sanctions tied to Holt's release, and that Trump was not involved in the final negotiations.
"This type of gesture. allows us to consolidate what has always been our standpoint: dialogue, agreement, respect for our independence, respect for our sovereignty", Rodriguez said. "He's not a spy", he's a "totally innocent man". "We're working, we're doing it!'" President Trump joked Saturday.
"The great people of Utah will be very happy", Trump wrote.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says he played a small role in bringing home a Utah man jailed in Venezuela for almost two years.
Trump later hosted the family in the Oval Office and told Holt he was "brave" and "went through a lot".
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.
Shortly after they Wednesday, however, the couple was arrested by the Venezuelan intelligence service Sebin, and accused of possessing weapons and plotting to destabilize the Maduro government. USA officials say the charges against Holt were politically motivated.
A week ago the chances of Holt's long ordeal ending any time soon looked slim. Maduro's autocratic regime faces sanctions on its financial sector, moves meant to punish the government without further hurting a hungry and downtrodden population. "They let us know how concerned they were for Josh and has family, but also how disappointed. and saddened they were by the actions of Venezuela's leaders".
Holt said he was overwhelmed with gratitude for the support he received from the U.S. government while behind bars.
Holt, a Utah native, was released along with his wife, Thamy, according to a statement from Sen.
"I could not be more honored to be able to reunite Josh with his sweet, long-suffering family", Hatch said. "I'm thrilled and relieved for the family, and grateful for all the hard work that's been done to get Josh home", she tweeted.
"He didn't ask for anything and we didn't offer anything", Senator Orrin Hatch said of the negotiation with President Maduro.
A US citizen who was held in a Venezuelan prison for two years has met US President Donald Trump shortly after his release.
He apparently was referring to U.S. sanctions, which Washington has tightened since Maduro was re-elected on May 20 in elections that the United States rejected as a "sham". The US and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro haven't seen eye-to-eye in years, which begs the question: Why now?
He blames a U.S.
Earlier in May, Holt made a desperate Facebook plea for help after a riot at the prison where they were held.
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