Venezuela has freed USA missionary Josh Holt, Trump says

American Joshua Holt has been set free by the Venezuela's Maduro Government, in what his family has described as "this miracle", after spending almost two years in jail accused of being a spy for the Central Intelligence Agency. Hours earlier Maduro expelled the top American diplomat over the refusal of the U.S.to recognize his re-election.

Holt and his wife were freed overnight and released to the US Embassy in Caracas, according to Foro Penal, a human rights organization of lawyers and others who assist political prisoners in Venezuela.

Trump tweeted a second time Saturday, saying, "Looking forward to seeing Joshua Holt this evening in the White House".

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.

McCarry leveraged a 15-year-old relationship with Maduro from their time together in the Boston Group, an informal gathering from across the political spectrum - Democrats, Republicans, socialists and capitalists - from both countries that worked discreetly to fix relations between the two countries following a coup in 2002 against then-President Hugo Chavez. "I'm just so grateful for what you guys have done and for thinking about me and caring about me, just a normal person, so it really touches me and thank you".

Although the extent of the unrest was not known, in another Facebook post, Holt says, "the prison where I am at has fallen and the guards are here and people are trying to break in my room and kill me". "Most people don't know that".

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who had worked for the couple's release, said "I could not be more honored to be able to reunite Josh with his sweet, long-suffering family in Riverton". Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) personally met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.


In a tweet, Trump referred to Joshua Holt as a "hostage".

The US contended Mr Holt was held on trumped-up charges.

Holt's mother, Laurie Holt, said all along that her son and his wife were wrongly accused.

President Donald Trump celebrated the announcement on Twitter calling it "good news".

"We're praying that this type of gesture. will allow us to strengthen what we've always sought: dialogue, harmony, respect for our independence and respect for our sovereignty", he said.

Holt, 26, traveled to Caracas in June 2016 to marry a fellow Mormon he had met online while looking to improve his Spanish. He had planned to spend several months in Caracas that summer with his new wife and her two daughters, to secure their visas so they could move with him to the U.S.

"After their honeymoon past year, the couple settled into Candelo's apartment in a housing project on the outskirts of Caracas". 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 USA attempts to undermine President Maduro's rule amid deep economic and political turbulence.

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