UPDATE: Friday, the Holt family sent the following statement to News4Utah:
The situation at the Helicoide, place of reclusion of Josh and Thamara Holt, has deescalated. However, we as a family are deeply concern that no update has been given in regards to their physical and mental integrity. Josh and Thamara Holt continue to be held unjustly at the same place, and we hope that the US Embassy in Caracas will be allow to visit them as soon as possible to shed some light into their current situation
May 17: Holt continued his plea for help Thursday in a new video posted to the “Justice For Josh” Facebook page, but said that he is “fine” after the prison he is in was attacked Wednesday.
“I just wanted to ask and plea once again–to my government, to my people, to my senators, to everyone in the United States to please not leave me alone here,” Holt said. “I want my family to know that I’m doing okay and that nobody is doing any harm to me,” he added.
Senator Hatch’s Office released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
“Senator Hatch is working directly with the administration, with U.S. personnel in Venezuela, and with his own network of contacts in South America to get a clear understanding of Josh’s current status, to confirm he is safe, and to ensure we are doing everything possible to remove him from this dangerous situation. While the ultimate goal is to get him and Thamy back to his family in the United States, our primary objective at the moment is to ensure his safety. While Josh and Thamy are not currently in immediate danger, Senator Hatch remains concerned about the evolving circumstances, is getting regular updates, and is working with leadership throughout government to explore all possible options to bring Josh and Thamy home.”
Watch the full video here:
Josh Holt, a Utah man who has been held captive in a Venezuelan prison, pleaded for help on Facebook Wednesday claiming “people are trying to break in [his] room and kill [him]”.
Wednesday, several news agencies reported Helicoide, the prison where Holt is detained, was under attack and that “officials [were throwing] tear gas bombs at the families of the inmates inside the prison facilities.”
In 2016 Holt traveled to Venezuela to marry Thamara Candela. A short time later, he and his wife were arrested and accused of illegal possession of weapons. They have been held in prison ever since.
Senator Orrin Hatch has been working with the Trump Administration to bring Holt and his wife home. Wednesday his office sent News4Utah the following statement:
“Senator Hatch has been aware of Josh’s situation throughout the day and been in communication with Josh’s family, the Trump administration, and contacts in Venezuela. He remains focused on Josh’s safety as we work to bring him home on humanitarian grounds.”
And Rep. Mia Love posted a statement to Twitter:
I confirmed Utahn Josh Holt”s report of a riot at the Venezuelan jail where he is being unjustly held. I quickly issued this statement this afternoon.#utpol pic.twitter.com/x6p01x4nE4— Rep. Mia Love (@RepMiaLove) May 16, 2018