Joshua Holt - a Mormon missionary from Utah jailed in Venezuela's most notorious prison - has uploaded an emotional video plea for his freedom, saying that his life is under threat amid an ongoing riot by fellow inmates. He moved in with her in the outskirts of Caracas while they waited for her visa to arrive so they could move to the US with her two daughters, NPR reported past year after speaking to Holt's mother. I have NEVER done anything wrong in my life.
Josh Holt, 26, can be seen in a Facebook video pleading for help from the US government after claiming that the prison "has fallen" to people wanting to kill him. "The Venezuelan government is directly responsible for its security and we will hold it responsible if something happens to them", the USA embassy said.
"This has never been like this ever, until now".
The Holt family released a statement through Trujillo, saying they were both "deeply troubled and concerned" about the riots. But she said she wasn't certain he would remain safe.
Mr Holt travelled to Venezuela two years ago to Wednesday a fellow Mormon he met on the internet. Holt denies the charges.
His mother Laurie Holt confirmed the account belonged to her son.
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Chief Prosecutor Tarek William Saab sent a commission to the El Helicoide prison to speak with a representative of the inmates. In a video, Holt appears with some of the protestors, urging their release on the basis they haven't had a trial and need medical attention for unspecified health issues.
The U.S. Embassy said in a message on social media that the Venezuelan government is directly responsible for Holt's safety. "The Venezuelan government is directly responsible for the security, and we will make it responsible if something happens to them".
USA diplomat Todd Robinson told news media there that he will continue pressing for Holt's freedom but did not know what sparked the riot. El Helicoide inmate Daniel Ceballos, a man who was taken as a political prisoner by Maduro in spite of being the elected mayor of the city of San Cristobal, posted a video to social media demanding the presence of government authorities, and denouncing a series of irregularities allegedly taking place inside the prison, including the murder of political prisoners. Family members gathered with others outside the prison to protest their loved ones' detention. They had planned to move to the US with Caleno's two young daughters, and were waiting for approval for her USA visa. Several of current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's opponents were barred from running against him.
Responding to Holt's appeal, one Venezuelan official, Humberto Gonzalez, warned in a Tweet: "ALERT If the United States does not promptly rescue Joshua Holt he could be lynched by Maduro's regime agents on next hours". A Facebook post Wednesday depicts him amid a riot that started after one inmate was beaten by another. Marco Rubio talks about him, he won't be released. "I love my family and I want my family to know I'm ok and no one is doing any harm to me", he said. "They won't give me a true trial", the message states.
Senator Orrin Hatch has been working with the Trump Administration to bring Holt and his wife home. Josh and his family have suffered far too long.