USA prisoner freed from Venezuela prison meets Trump

Trump welcomes freed American after ‘ordeal

President Donald Trump says in a tweet that he expects to greet Holt at the White House later Saturday.

"We hope this gesture strengthens dialogue and respect toward our independence", Venezuela's Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said of Holt's release in comments broadcast on state television.

In televised comments earlier this month, the No. 2 official in Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party, Diosdado Cabello, described Holt as "the head of US espionage in Latin America" and said that he would remain behind bars.

Holt travelled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry a woman he met on the internet while he was looking for Spanish-speaking Mormons to help him improve his Spanish.

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. "2207520000.1527388943./1680746842045054/?type=3&theater">Facebook page, he said the reunion came "after two years of hard work".

A Riverton man who has been imprisoned in Venezuela for the past two years has been released, Sen. "We have others coming", he said, singling out pastor Andrew Brunson, held by Turkey since an attempted coup in 2016. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Trump responded by calling Holt courageous. That prompted the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela to express concern that Holt and other Americans in the prison might be in danger. Last week, Diosdado Cabello, one of Venezuela's most powerful politicians, called him the "Latin American head" of the Central Intelligence Agency and a "mercenary". Maduro and secured Mr. Holts release.


Mr Trump, in a tweet, described Mr Holt as a "hostage".

"You went through a lot", Trump told Joshua Holt at the Oval Office, where the former Mormon missionary was joined by his parents, his wife and daughter.

Authorities accused him of stockpiling an assault rifle and grenades, and suggested that his case was linked to other unspecified United States attempts to undermine Mr Maduro's rule amid deep economic and political turbulence.

The socialist nation on South America's northern coast has been at odds with the United States and much of the world for years. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Miraflores Presidential Press Office via AP) In this photo released by the Miraflores Presidential Press Office, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, left, shakes hands with Republican Senator Bob Corker during a meeting at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday May 25, 2018.

Maduro won a second six-year term in office May 20 in an election that the US and other countries have described as a "sham" after several rivals were prohibited from running.

On Friday, however, human rights monitors reported the release of 20 activists who had been jailed in the western state of Zulia for protesting against the government.

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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