Washington, May 27: US President Donald Trump welcomed Josh Holt, an American who had been held as a prisoner in Venezuela since 2016, upon his arrival here after being released, the media reported. “You’ve gone through a lot, more than most people could endure,” the President said to Holt as the two were seated side-by-side in the Oval Office late Saturday night. “I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude for you guys for everything that you’ve done,” Holt said in response, adding that it had been a “very, very difficult two years”, reports CNN.
Holt, a Utah native, arrived at the White House with his wife, Thamy, who had also been imprisoned, shortly after flying back from Venezuela earlier on Saturday. After the flight landed, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who said earlier in the day that his office helped secure Holt’s release, posted a video to Twitter showing Holt reuniting with his family.
In his remarks from the White House, Trump also took the opportunity to highlight the release of other Americans held prisoner abroad, including the recent release of three Americans who had been detained by North Korea. Holt travelled to Venezuela in June 2016 to marry Venezuelan Thamara Caleno, reports CNN. He was arrested shortly afterward and accused by the Venezuelan government of stockpiling weapons and attempting to destabilise the government, according to The Washington Post. Holt was held for nearly two years without standing trial. (IANS)