UNCATEGORIZED

Rep. Love: Non-stop negotiations led to ‘miracle’ release of Josh Holt

May 28, 2018, 7:04 PM
TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – The sudden release of Utah resident Josh Holt from a dangerous Venezuelan prison was preceded by months of negotiations, said U.S. Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah.

“We’ve had so many ups and downs—so many close calls on both sides,” Love said, adding that there were times when they didn’t know if Holt was going to live through the day.

Rep. Love: “It really is a miracle,” U.S. Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, said of Josh Holt being released from Venezuela.


Holt, 26, and his wife, Thamy, have been in prison since June of 2016 on what the U.S. government says were phony weapons charges.


Love described the past two years as an “emotional rollercoaster.” She developed a friendship with Holt’s family, who live in her Congressional district, as they worked to negotiate his release.


“We don’t have any relationships with Venezuela,” she said. “People don’t even know that the State Department had to send people—put them in harm’s way—to make sure that Joshua was okay.”


Love said the secret discussions between U.S. lawmakers and the Venezuelan government resulted in a surprise message from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Jail: On June 30, 2016, police officers arrest Josh Holt on suspicion that he conspired against the Venezuelan government.



“There’s a window of opportunity,” Love said of the communication. “Maduro wants to talk to somebody. He wants to see if he can have a better relationship with the United States.”


Senator Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, answered the urgent request. He traveled to Caracas on Friday to meet with Maduro. The next day, Holt, his wife and her daughter were on a private jet headed for the United States.


“Maduro asked for nothing; it was an unconditional release,” Love said. “Thank goodness we worked hard to put Joshua at the top priority so if anybody would be released he would be the first one.”


Love praised the “incredible” work of U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff member Caleb McCarry. In a statement, Corker also thanked McCarry for handing the delicate negotiations.


Couple: Josh Holt and his wife Thamy were married in Venezuela in June of 2016.

“On a personal note, I would like to thank Caleb McCarry, an incredibly valued member of my staff, for his dogged determination,” Corker said. “We would not have been successful without his involvement.”

After receiving a call from President Donald Trump on Saturday morning, Love flew to Washington, D.C. with Holt’s parents for a homecoming meeting that took place in the Oval Office.

“It really is a miracle,” Love said. “It was like a family member coming home.”

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Uncategorized

...
Jed Boal

Red Cross CEO from Utah will deploy to Florida where she worked before

Red Cross volunteers from Utah are already helping in Florida, and more are on their way. Our regional Red Cross CEO, based here in Salt Lake City, will head there Saturday.
6 days ago
(Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Casey Scott surprises Utah drivers with free gas cards

Gas prices in Utah have dropped around $0.30 over the last month, but Utahns are still paying over $4.15/gallon on average.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Rep. Love: Non-stop negotiations led to ‘miracle’ release of Josh Holt