Venezuelan officials released Holt on Saturday after high-level talks between President Nicolas Maduro and USA lawmakers.
At a news conference in Caracas earlier on Saturday, Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said Holt and his wife were freed as part of efforts by Maduro's government to maintain "respectful diplomatic relations" with Washington. That a United States Senator of his prominence dares to affirm that such a regime "is willing to work with the U.S.to improve relations between the countries" is simply flabbergasting. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., right, and others, in the Oval Office of the White House, Saturday, May 26, 2018, in Washington.
The U.S. government at first avoided ratcheting up public pressure on Venezuela amid already strained relations between the two countries, but eventually raised Holt's case to the highest levels of the Venezuela government.
"I am pleased to join Senator Hatch and President Trump in announcing the release of Josh and Thamy Holt", Corker said in a statement. Trump said Holt's case had proved hard and lawmakers, along with members of the State Department, had been working tirelessly to have him released. "It's unbelievable that you were able to take it ... that was a tough situation", Trump said during a televised meeting at the Oval Office with Holt's parents.
President Donald Trump celebrated the announcement on Twitter calling it "good news".
In a statement, the Holt family said, "We thank you for your collaboration during this time of anguish".
Earlier this month, he surfaced during a protest by opposition activists jailed in the massive hilltop structure, and appealed for U.S. help in a video posted on Twitter.
Shortly after McCarry's visit, Lacava traveled to Washington in March to speak with several lawmakers including Hatch, Corker, Sen.
After their arrival the family says they will follow them to Riverton City Park for their surprise homecoming.
Holt was arrested on weapons charged during a trip to Venezuela to marry a woman he'd met on a website to practice Spanish. In the Holt transaction, both sides appear to have gotten what they want: the release of the prisoner for the US, and the appearance of legitimacy for Maduro.
The State Department has called the weapons charges "questionable".