Utahn Josh Holt released from prison in Venezuela

In this image provided by the Holt family Joshua Holt his wife Thamara and her daughter Marian board a plane at the airport in Caracas Venezuela Saturday

An American and his wife held almost two years in a Venezuelan jail arrived home in the United States Saturday, May 26, after their release in what Venezuela's leftist government said was a gesture aimed at fostering dialogue with Washington to avert U.S. "aggressions".

The family of a Utah man jailed in a Venezuelan jail for two years calls his release a miracle. He had planned to spend several months in Caracas that summer with his new wife and her two daughters, to secure their visas so they could move with him to the U.S. A few days after they married, police stormed their apartment and claimed they found a stash of automatic weapons. "Holt and Candelo were hauled off to jail".

A statement that relatives provided Saturday confirms that Joshua Holt and his wife will be freed from detention in the capital of Caracas. In April, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) had also met with Maduro to press Holt's release.

They were expected to arrive in Washington on Saturday evening and join Holt's family at the White House, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter.

Holt joked that the time he spent in Venezuela was "not really the great vacation that I was looking for", and said that he was "so grateful", describing himself as "a normal person".

Mr. Holt said that he was "overwhelmed with gratitude".

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Trump told Holt. "But we've had 17 [prisoners] released", during the Trump administration, the president said.

In televised comments earlier this month, the No. 2 official in Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party, Diosdado Cabello, described Holt as "the head of US espionage in Latin America" and said that he would remain behind bars. In June of that year, he was arrested by the government, which accused him - with the help of planted evidence, observers say - of stockpiling weapons as part of an American efforts to topple the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

"Help me please United States, how long do I have to suffer unjustly in this place?" he wrote. I have NEVER done anything wrong in my life. "That was a tough situation", Trump told Josh Holt, who sat to his right. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on Saturday.

The family's release came one day after Tennessee senator Bob Corker held a surprise meeting in Caracas with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whom the Trump administration says runs a "dictatorship" and just won re-election in a "sham" vote.

While neither side has released an official statement, reports said the visit was an attempt by Corker to negotiate for the release of Joshua Holt.

In a statement, he added that "the United States stands steadfast in support of the Venezuelan people and their efforts to return to democracy". 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.

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