Utah man jailed in Venezuela pleas for freedom in video

Elias Hubbard
May 17, 2018

"Senator Hatch has been aware of Josh's situation throughout the day and been in communication with Josh's family, the Trump administration, and contacts in Venezuela". "The people have taken the entire prison".

In another video on social media, Joshua Holt, a United States citizen and Mormon missionary whose family has said he was framed on weapons charges while in Venezuela for his wedding, pleaded to be set free. He said tear gas and weapons had been fired at detainees but they were holding out to demand freedom.

The 26-year-old Holt traveled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry a fellow Mormon he met on the web. "They say that they are doing things, but I'm still here and now my life is threatened".

"I need help. So they've taken the entire prison where I'm at".

"They're trying to break in". "They are asking for freedom ... they are asking for health care ... they are asking for human rights. they want the aggression and the torture to stop".

Trujillo declined to discuss how Holt was posting videos on his Facebook page, saying Holt's safety was in jeopardy and he didn't want to release any information that may harm him. "That delegation spoke to a representative of the prisoners to respond to their requests", chief prosecutor Tarek Saab tweeted.

The Holt family released a statement through Trujillo, saying they were both "deeply troubled and concerned" about the riots.

Holt posted again claiming that he is "a political prisoner", and that he was told by officials that "as long as my government continues attacking this government, and as long as (Republican Florida Sen.) Marco Rubio continues talking about me the longer that they will never let me go".

In another, a shirtless youth runs down a narrow hallway and knocks out an overhead light with a long stick to shouts of encouragement by other inmates.

But Maduro's comments were overshadowed by reports of a major disturbance at El Helicoide, an iconic 1950s shopping mall that was converted into the headquarters of Venezuela's feared spy agency, the Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (SEBIN), and has become a crumbling symbol of the country's plunge into economic chaos and authoritarianism.

Several activists incarcerated at the Helicoide posted videos on social media and said the jail had been taken over to protest conditions.

"Joshua Holt and other US citizens are in danger. The Venezuelan government is directly responsible for their security and we will hold them responsible if anything happens to them", the embassy tweeted in Spanish.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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