Utahn Josh Holt arrives in D.C. after release from Venezuelan prison

Riverton man freed from Venezuela jail after 2 years; family flies to D.C. for White House gathering

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  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 28, 2018 11:59 a.m.

    Here's the full story.

    Granted trump's state department bloviated a bit when the Holt family was taken captive, but he (and they) are not the ones who did the work and negotiation to get the Holt family released.

    Kudos to Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for making the return possible. Although Corker sealed the deal in a few tense hours in Venezuela's collapsing, crime-filled capital, the push to secure Holt's release began months earlier by Corker's top Latin American policy aide, Caleb McCarry, who both Corker, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, credited with leading the painstaking, behind-the-scenes negotiations. These Senators and their staff deserve full credit for effecting the Holt/Caleno family's return. Kudos also to Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) for their assistance. For the record -- after hearing of the attempts through a leak by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), donnie tried to block any negotiations with Venezuela.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 28, 2018 11:04 a.m.

    Let Orrin take a well deserved victory lap if he wants. he did good.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 28, 2018 7:57 a.m.

    @one old man - May 26, 2018 5:04 p.m.
    Josh and wife are coming home and the politicians are circling like vultures trying to get a chunk of the credit.
    ------------------
    Let me correct your statement -- it should read: "Josh and wife are coming home and trump is circling like a vulture trying to get a chunk of the credit."

    Granted trump's state department bloviated a bit when the Holt family was taken captive, but he (and they) are not the ones who did the work and negotiation to get the Holt family released. Sens. Corker (R-TN) and Hatch (R-UT) and their staff deserve full credit for effecting the Holt/Caleno family's return. Kudos also to Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) for their assistance. trump had nothing to do with the negotiations that brought about the release of the Holt family. For the record -- after hearing of the attempts through a leak by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), trump tried to block any negotiations with Venezuela.

    Sad that trump continually tries to take credit for work done by others.

  • Y Ask Y Provo, UT
    May 28, 2018 6:06 a.m.

    Who is this Josh Holt?

    What did he do that is news worthy?

    Why is anybody making a big deal out of this?

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    May 27, 2018 7:18 p.m.

    @stand up for truth

    What did trump do specifically that facilitated the release of this guy?

    The story didn’t state he did anything yet trump supporters are praising him.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    May 27, 2018 2:16 p.m.

    So very relieved and happy Josh is home with his sweet wife and family and friends. WOW....what an ordeal.

  • stand up for truth Lehi, UT
    May 27, 2018 11:54 a.m.

    I find it disgusting when people act so petty and small they cannot give credit where credit is due. Some commenters here are so blind with Trump hatred that they refuse to give him any credit for anything. Look, I did not vote for Trump, but this is so petty and deplorable. You can dislike all the things you want to about Trump but come on, give him credit when it is deserved. The virtrile comments speak of the commenters more than of the object of their hatred.

  • J2 Riverton, UT
    May 27, 2018 11:06 a.m.

    I was so glad to wake up Saturday morning to this news! I don't know the Holt family personally, but know several people who do know them. We are definitely feeling grateful in Riverton today.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    May 27, 2018 10:50 a.m.

    Obama had a rose garden Muslim themed reception for Bergdahl and his parents....

    Don’t see why Libs are so upset that Trump wants to welcome home another political prisoner that has been released! This is number 17 since Trump took office! The world is respecting America once again following the last regimes apology tour strategy!

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    May 27, 2018 10:02 a.m.

    It is wonderful that Josh has returned. We have one more Utahn who I hope is not forgotten and that is David Sneddon. Hopefully done of our delegation in Washington will give up on getting him home from North Korea.

    As far as the comments about President Trump or Senator Hatch taking credit for getting Josh home, just remember President Ronald Reagan stating, ‘There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit.’

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    May 27, 2018 7:36 a.m.

    This whole story does NOT fit the narrative about Trump or the GOP.

    I hope my progressive friends can get past it.

    Welcome home, Holt family.

  • kreese Ivins, UT
    May 27, 2018 6:55 a.m.

    We don't know all that went on to get him out. But the fact is, Trump is President and he's out. But some of the comments not giving Trump some credit are pathetic.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    May 27, 2018 6:01 a.m.

    I'm so Glad that Heavenly Father secured this mans release! He obviously heard the prayers of his children and once again has used one of his sons as an instrument to negotiate this young mans release. What a wonderful Miracle!

    President Trump has a good heart, his like the prodigal son and most people treat him like the brother treated the prodigal son, with contempt. However the Father had mercy on his son and he saw more; he saw deep into the heart and recognized a softening of heart.

    I am so grateful that Jesus Christ will be my judge and judging by these comments, I bet President Trump is grateful that he will be his judge also.

  • Joey D WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    May 27, 2018 3:16 a.m.

    Thank God for President Trump. Making America Great Again one win at time.

  • BobbyPaluga Austin, TX
    May 27, 2018 2:37 a.m.

    Time for reality and personal responsibility
    Host's own mother begged him to stay out of Venezuela, the country is involved in a civil war, the big bad USA gets the blame rather than the incompetent bus driver who destroyed all industry in the country.
    She said and I quote: "He won't listen to anyone"
    Holt is completely responsible for foolishly making this trip he was warned NOT TO take. With an unstable Banana Republic fueled by hate towards the USA, the chances of something bad happening were great.
    His actions created great urgency on the part of two State Departments, one ineffective president and the current president who has an uncanny ability to get the attention of despots.
    He claims he has never done anything wrong in his life, I can think of a huge mistake, listening to himself while shutting out wiser voices.

  • kmike las vegas, NV
    May 26, 2018 10:24 p.m.

    I am glad this issue is resolved and Mr Holt is back in the USA.

    But Mr Trump should not be given the Credit, if any the question should be asked why did it take so long?

    When Reagan won the Election the Hostages in Iran were Instantly set on the path of Release, they (Iran) feared Reagan.

    Mr Trump has always bragged about being a "great negotiator" this was not the case.

    Kudo's to Rep Love, for keeping the Issue alive, and Sen Cooker.

  • artsy Billings, MT
    May 26, 2018 9:26 p.m.

    What a blessing this is for Josh and his family! I can't even begin to imagine what they went through over there. Thank goodness for the prayers and all those who helped make this happen. I am so relieved and happy for Josh and his family and wish them many wonderful, happy years ahead!

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2018 9:14 p.m.

    As much as everyone wants to see him, interview him, and hang out with him I hope people will give them some breathing room. They have been through a terrible and traumatic ordeal. This is a strange country for her. An overwhelming ordeal for him. Glad this family got their prayers answered. Not everyone does. Thanks to all those that helped secure their freedom. This case is a good example of how much we can take for granted the great freedoms we enjoy in this country. We forget do many can only dream of having what we have.

  • Mick , 00
    May 26, 2018 9:06 p.m.

    Lefty’s have short term memory problems.

    Remember Bowe Bergdahl. Obama had a big press conference for that traitors return. And we had to give up 5 terrorists prisoners to get him back. Obama and the left held a White House garden press conference and a victory. What a joke.

  • papa one Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2018 9:05 p.m.

    Who cares who takes credit, the important part is Josh is home, Thanks to all involved for the release of Josh.

  • JBs Logan, UT
    May 26, 2018 8:48 p.m.

    I do believe Mr. Trump gets some credit for dealing with dictators. With all due respect, I believe he is so unpredictable that the world's leaders don't know what he is going to do in response to their actions.

    I don't believe that is to his credit. It just shows he understands them because he is much like them, ruthless. That doesn't make him a good president, it just makes him unlike any other president we've had, and that's a bad thing.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    May 26, 2018 8:31 p.m.

    I am certain that the liberal element among us really dislikes the success of the Trump administration in this case. Keep resisting and see where that gets you in the mid-term elections. You may be unpleasantly surprised.

    The message of resistance, appeasement, open borders, and higher taxes doesn't seem to be resonating with those common folks at all. . . Yes, on the coasts, it is, I grant you that, but not in flyover country.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    May 26, 2018 8:15 p.m.

    This is great news.... and yes.... Trump (and his administration) should get credit for bringing him home to his family. Nicely done.

    That said, got to love the expression on Trump's face in the main photo clip. Here is a moment that should be great from Trump, and yet they choose a clipping that makes Trump look totally board by the experience. Very odd selection.

  • American First Merced, CA
    May 26, 2018 7:53 p.m.

    Joshua wouldn’t be home if it weren’t for the dedication and genuine concern of the Pro-American Republican representatives and the Trump administration. By their deeds ur shall know them.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    May 26, 2018 7:32 p.m.

    @ Shaun - Sandy, UT
    May 26, 2018 6:50 p.m.

    "I am not surprised trump is taking credit."

    We may not like Trump but he is the POTUS and naturally will get the credit. Just like grad school, where a grad student will do research to attain his or her Masters or PhD but the Professor will always be the one to receive praise and decides the outcome of whether the Masters or PhD candidate pass or fail, in the higher learning community.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    May 26, 2018 6:50 p.m.

    I am not surprised trump is taking credit.

  • I.M. Fletch Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2018 5:07 p.m.

    @impartial7

    I get that. Lest Mr. Holt or anyone else reading this article is planning a trip to Venezuela, or Iran, or north Korea, or any other country with limited diplomatic relationships with the United States, don't. It's a bad idea.
    However, to say that there is "no one to blame" is a little too much hyperbole for me right now. Of course there are people to blame.

    To say that there is "no one else to blame" while the guy is still in the air on the way home from this horrific event is unfortunate.

    To say all of that in the guy's home town paper and take a swipe at his marriage/wife, is deplorable with a capital T.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 26, 2018 5:04 p.m.

    Josh and wife are coming home and the politicians are circling like vultures trying to get a chunk of the credit.

  • Groucho Marks Lehi, UT
    May 26, 2018 4:35 p.m.

    Keep grinding that grist impartial but the conservatives done a good thing here no matter how liberals want to spin it.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    May 26, 2018 4:03 p.m.

    @Kenngo1969;
    "Impartial7 - Draper UT - "Question. Doesn't this go against everything Trump says about immigration? A Venezuelan national [Josh Holt's wife, Thamy], going to the head of the line?"

    "Nope. I welcome correction if I'm wrong ... Immigration Law was Oh, so long ago! ... but since she married an American, thereby, she becomes eligible for Lawful Permanent Resident status. No line-jumping needed."

    That was kind of the policy up until 2013. Now, it's this (still feel she's getting preferential treatment and hypocritical);

    The application process for a green card based on marriage is long and complex. It begins with the U.S. citizen or permanent resident (the "petitioner") submitting a visa petition to USCIS, proving that you're married, and requesting approval to move forward with your green card application. (In a few cases, however, these two steps can be collapsed into one.) At the end of the process, the immigrant will need to attend an interview at either a U.S. embassy or consulate in his or her home country, or at an office of USCIS in the United States. (In the latter case, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse is also expected to attend.)

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    May 26, 2018 3:20 p.m.

    Come on, people. A miracle has happened. Josh is home, along with his wife and their children. Many hands made this possible. Everyone who helped, congressmen/women, Senators, Diplomats, etc. should receive kudos for their efforts. It took everyone involved to get the job done. I am elated about this, as we all should be.

    And to thanks to President Maduro and President Trump, and all the State Department workers for your hard work and many efforts. You made it happen.

    And thanks to our men and women in the armed services, helping to keep us safe.

    This is a win-win for our great country, the United States of America.

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    May 26, 2018 3:14 p.m.

    Great news! Any news on his wife?

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    May 26, 2018 2:58 p.m.

    @I.M. Fletch - Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2018 1:16 p.m.
    @fani
    "He has no one to blame but himself for his 2 years in prison."

    With all due respect, there are plenty of unclean hands within the Venezuelan government to blame for his unlawful detention.

    With all due respect, Josh never should have never gone to Venezuela for a mail order bride. He was advised against going by all those close to him as well as the US State Department. Americans in Venezuela are kidnapping targets. Josh ignored all the warnings and created his own situation. He was also trying to take his bride back to the US without a Visa. You know how in Utah it is common to bill out of bounds skiers and hikers for rescue costs? That needs to happen with Josh. He never should have been there.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    May 26, 2018 2:47 p.m.

    Some folks gotta try to find something wrong about this. Much like many libs that want to see us fail in negotiations with NK. I just don't get it. Never liked Obama, thought he was an amateur, but I was hopeful that he could lead the Country in a productive way.

  • Kenngo1969 Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 26, 2018 2:17 p.m.

    Impartial7 - Draper UT - "Question. Doesn't this go against everything Trump says about immigration? A Venezuelan national [Josh Holt's wife, Thamy], going to the head of the line?"

    Nope. I welcome correction if I'm wrong ... Immigration Law was Oh, so long ago! ... but since she married an American, thereby, she becomes eligible for Lawful Permanent Resident status. No line-jumping needed.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    May 26, 2018 2:09 p.m.

    'U.S. officials told the socialist Venezuelan government Holt's release would be a "last-ditch effort to show that you're willing to work with the United States."'

    I love it! This is how you have to deal with these autocratic regimes! They have to be treated like criminals about to face serious consequences for their actions unless they cooperate. I imagine Corker saying to Maduro: "Hey dude, Trump is a loose cannon. You and I both know, not even the Republicans can control him. He's out gunning for you and looking for an excuse to pull the trigger. He's going to use this hostage situation as a pretext for something neither of us are going to like. Give me the prisoner as a last-ditch effort to show that you're willing to work with the United States."

    Done!

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 26, 2018 1:42 p.m.

    I am delighted that Brother Holt and his wife are free. I am disgusted that donnie is trying to turn this into a photo op and take credit for work done by other people.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    May 26, 2018 1:39 p.m.

    Interesting that you never hear of American Socialist moving to a Socialist Country.

  • franc Kirkland, WA
    May 26, 2018 1:27 p.m.

    Great news!! But Orrin Hatch takes credit ... doubtful.

  • I.M. Fletch Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2018 1:16 p.m.

    @fani

    "He has no one to blame but himself for his 2 years in prison."

    With all due respect, there are plenty of unclean hands within the Venezuelan government to blame for his unlawful detention.

    Best wishes to Mr. Holt and his family during his recovery.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    May 26, 2018 1:01 p.m.

    Great that he"s coming home. But some will spin trash on Trump. Pathetic!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    May 26, 2018 1:00 p.m.

    Welcome home Josh, glad you came back safe.

    We can all learn a lesson. Best not to travel to countries that have strained relations with the United States.

    Thank you Senator Corker of Tennessee.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    May 26, 2018 12:54 p.m.

    Good news, glad for Josh and his family. Thanks President Trump, and others for the result oriented people you are. I feel sorry for the citizens of Venezuela, hope you can overthrow your dictatorial government and be free.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    May 26, 2018 12:19 p.m.

    Great job by the State Department securing his release. Hopefully this ends a very painful chapter in his families life.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    May 26, 2018 12:15 p.m.

    Question. Doesn't this go against everything Trump says about immigration? A Venezuelan national, going to the head of the line? What about applying legally, and waiting 3 years? Plus, talk about Chain Migration- she gets to bring her kids? Because her husband ignore warnings, including from the US State Department, not to go to Venezuela to bring back a bride with no Visa, to the US, they get preferential immigration treatment? Doesn't just encourage illegal immigration?

  • Frank Montoya Jr Providence, UT
    May 26, 2018 12:13 p.m.

    Great news, thanks mostly to a bunch of people who never gave up (and who I hope will get the credit they deserve for making this happen).

    But did anyone happen to notice that Hatch, who is usually effusive in his praise of Trump, didn't mention him at all in his press release? Plenty of praise for Bob Corker, the Senate Foreign Relations committee and another individual, but no Trump.

    Wonder why.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    May 26, 2018 11:29 a.m.

    What a great answer from many prayers...so relieved they are coming home.

  • Straydog Layton, UT
    May 26, 2018 11:18 a.m.

    Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Holt, and a big thank you to President Trump, Senators Hatch & Corker and their staffs, and Rep Love.

    President Trump promised he would help the forgotten men and forgotten women of America, and he has literally done that.

    Some would rather cut their tongues out than admit this truth: that President Trump has a very big heart!

  • Sunshines Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 26, 2018 11:03 a.m.

    Wonderful news! Well earned thanks are in order for the Trump Administration and everyone who helped free this young man.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    May 26, 2018 11:02 a.m.

    @fani-WJ "He has no one to blame but himself for his 2 years in prison." I beg to disagree, and your comment seems awfully judgmental to me. He did nothing immoral or illegal, so I don't blame him; I blame those who unjustifiably captured him and lied about him. This could happen to anyone. And you don't need to travel to a foreign country to become a victim of bad people.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    May 26, 2018 10:56 a.m.

    I would love to hear who actually convinced them to release him. May he recover his health and get on with his life.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    May 26, 2018 10:22 a.m.

    This is wonderful news. I do not who did what to get this done, but to all who did anything, thanks!

    And to "at long last" - thanks again for making it so clear that you can assert facts that you have no clue about. Your agenda shows.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    May 26, 2018 10:17 a.m.

    I cannot think of any President that has been more productive at helping America than President Trump. In less than a month, 4 americans held captive by Socialist/communist countries have been released. Not to mention the progress in North Korea and elsewhere around the world...

    HIs accomplishments in less than two years in office is uncountable.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    May 26, 2018 10:01 a.m.

    Prayer works, and so does Senator Corker! Let us keep praying for Venezuela, nation of 30 million people with little trade and commerce going on there, garbage piling up on streets, few city services.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    May 26, 2018 10:01 a.m.

    @at long last;
    "Glad Josh is out; Trump and his administration deserve some credit. Hatch, not so much. . . Have you ever noticed that Hatch is all about him in associating with anything positive - regardless of how minor and insignificant a role he played."

    Exactly. Hatch thinks he speaks for every Utah family and every mormon. I'm glad the kid is out, but now look for him to be center ring for the Hatch and Trump self celebration party. I hope the kid returns to a normal life and doesn't spend next year on the talk show circuit, with his mom, promoting himself.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    May 26, 2018 9:44 a.m.

    I recently commented on this issue in a previous story: " This is a hopeless situation using the conventional diplomatic and hashtag approach. Fortunately, we have somewhat of an iconoclast in the Whitehouse."

    In many ways the jury is still out on Trump. There are a lot of things about him that make me uncomfortable. But wow, he does know how to get stuff done! These autocratic regimes are starting to respect America again.

    Congrats to the Holt family! Kudos to the Trump Administration!

  • Hoosier87 American Fork, UT
    May 26, 2018 9:40 a.m.

    I would think a prison in Venezuela would be a pretty scary place to be in.

    VERY happy this young man is coming home!!!

    However, if I understand correctly, he was in a home that had guns in them? And this “crime” justified his incarceration? I guess their government doesn’t guarantee them the right to bare arms in the case of governmental tyranny?

    God bless the U.S.A.

  • Mom and Love It San Juan, UT
    May 26, 2018 9:40 a.m.

    So happy! Never met the man or his family, but for some reason I could not stop thinking, and praying, for them last night. So wonderful! I hope his new family is able to build a good life here in America.

  • fani wj, UT
    May 26, 2018 9:35 a.m.

    Great news, but be smart next time! I can only imagine the pains his parents and family went through during his 2 years in prison. If you are going to a country with political unrest or does not have a good relation with America - isn't the most logical is don't go? and if you do, be prepared for something like this. He has no one to blame but himself for his 2 years in prison

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    May 26, 2018 9:08 a.m.

    This is great news. A huge win for the Holt family and the Trump administration!

    God bless America!

  • taylormade1 Springville, UT
    May 26, 2018 9:07 a.m.

    President Trump just keeps on winning ! Hail to the Chief !!

  • American First Merced, CA
    May 26, 2018 9:03 a.m.

    Awesome.

  • JBs Logan, UT
    May 26, 2018 8:59 a.m.

    That is so wonderful!

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    May 26, 2018 8:50 a.m.

    Hatch never fails to attempt to take a lot of credit when very little seems to be due to him. Glad Josh is out; Trump and his administration deserve some credit. Hatch, not so much. . . Have you ever noticed that Hatch is all about him in associating with anything positive - regardless of how minor and insignificant a role he played.

  • hopingtomakeadifference Orem, UT
    May 26, 2018 8:42 a.m.

    JOY!
    Although I don't know the Holt Family I have followed this story for the last two years. I'm so happy that Josh and his wife have been released. What a tremendous relief for their families. Hopefully after this traumatic experience they can heal and move forward.

  • BubbaTuna Vancouver, WA
    May 26, 2018 8:35 a.m.

    Yay!

    Happy for the Holt family.