Trump says Venezuela is releasing American hostage

President Donald Trump shake hands with Joshua Holt at the White House after his return to the

Joshua Holt, a Utah native held in Venezuelan jail for almost two years, returned to us soil on Saturday, and was welcomed by President Trump.

Twenty-six-year-old Joshua Holt and his wife arrived Saturday evening at Washington Dulles International Airport. Orrin Hatch. Holt's wife, Thamy, has also been released, Hatch said. "Should be landing in D.C. this evening and be in the White House, with his family, at about 7:00 P.M".

USA officials say the charges against Holt were politically motivated.

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. On May 22 - two days after Maduro won reelection - Robinson and the USA deputy chief of mission, Brian Naranjo, were expelled from the country in a sharp escalation of diplomatic tensions.

They were welcomed to the White House by US President Donald Trump, who told Holt he had been "incredibly fearless". "2207520000.1527388943./1680746842045054/?type=3&theater">Facebook page, he said the reunion came "after two years of hard work".

He says fellow Republican Sen. In this photo released by the Miraflores Presidential Press Office, Venezuela'.

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"You've been very fearless, actually, you've been incredibly courageous", Trump told Holt.

He recently appeared in a secretly shot video in which he begged for help from the USA government, and claimed his life was being threatened.

A family statement issued by Holt's lawyer in Venezuela, Carlos Trujillo, expressed thanks for "your collaboration during this time of anguish we have been through".

"Good news about the release of the American hostage from Venezuela", Trump tweeted.

Corker, in a statement, thanked Hatch and the president, as well as Caleb McCarry, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee staff who traveled with him to Caracas.

Venezuelan authorities arrested Holt in June 2016 while he was in Venezuela for his wedding, and he has been held without trial at the Helicoide, the headquarters of the intelligence agency Sebin, where inmates revolted earlier this month.

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U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says he played a small role in bringing home a Utah man jailed in Venezuela for almost two years.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said this month that a senior department official had urged Holt's release on humanitarian grounds.

Laurie Holt says family and friends will meet her son Joshua Holt and his wife, Thamara Caleno, at the airport to welcome them home.

Authorities arrested him on June 30, 2016, and accused him of stockpiling an assault rifle and grenades, suggesting his case was linked to other unspecified US attempts to undermine Maduro's rule amid deep economic and political turbulence.

He apparently was referring to USA sanctions, which Washington has tightened since Maduro was re-elected on May 20 in elections that the United States rejected as a "sham".

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