Utahn Josh Holt ‘doing OK’ after riot at his Venezuelan prison, he says in new video

CARACAS, Venezuela, May 17, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Riverton native Josh Holt, who has been incarcerated in a Venezuela prison since June of 2016 after weapons charges he says were trumped up, appears in a new video saying he is fine and is not being hurt, and still needs help from the United States government to regain his freedom.

The latest video follows two Facebook videos posted Wednesday in which Holt said the guards had lost control of the prison during a riot, and prisoners “want to kill me.”

This video was not posted to his Facebook page, but did appear on the Facebook page of Miami-based El Venezolano TV and the site of at least one other Spanish-language news agency. Hours later, The TV station’s link was shared on the Justice For Josh Facebook page.

“Good morning, it is May 17, six in the morning,” Holt, 26, says in the video.

“I’m posting this video saying that everyone’s fine here, I’m fine, doing OK. I just wanted to ask and plead, once again, to my government, to my people, to my senators, to everyone in the United States to please not leave me alone here.

“Please come and save my wife and myself and the rest of people who need help here.
I love my family and I want them to know that. I’m doing OK and no one is doing any harm to me.”

Holt, a returned missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, traveled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry local Thamy Coleno and help raise her two daughters.

A few days after the wedding, officials searched their apartment and arrested the couple after saying they found weapons. Holt has been held without a trial.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Mia Love are among the politicians who have championed Holt’s cause.

Newlyweds Josh Holt and Thamara Caleno. Photo: Justice for Josh

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