President Trump welcomes freed Utahn after ‘ordeal’ in Venezuela

Local News

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has welcomed to the White House a Utah man held for two years in a Venezuelan jail, saying he has undergone a “very tough ordeal.”

Twenty-six-year-old Joshua Holt and his wife arrived Saturday evening at Washington Dulles International Airport. Venezuelan officials released the Holts after high-level talks between President Nicolas Maduro and U.S. lawmakers.

Sitting with Trump and other Senators Hatch and Lee and Representative Mia Love, Holt said he was “overwhelmed with gratitude” for those who worked for his release.

Trump says 17 prisoners have been freed from overseas captivity since he’s been president and that others would be coming.

The White House  thanked the government of Venezuela for releasing an American held in jail for two years but added that U.S. policy toward the Maduro regime isn’t changing.

In a statement Saturday night, the White House says the Holts were unjustly held. The statement calls for free, fair and transparent elections consistent with the constitution of Venezuela, dismissing its May 20 elections as illegitimate.

The White House is also calling on Venezuela to release all political prisoners and accept international humanitarian aid for its dying citizens.

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Glen Mills

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...