Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro welcomed a visit by a top-ranking Republican congressional staffer last month to discuss the possible release of a Utah man jailed for more than 20 months in this volatile South American nation, six U.S. congressional and administration aides told The Associated Press.
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Holt, 25, traveled to Caracas in June 2016 to marry a fellow Mormon he met online practicing his Spanish. The couple was waiting for her U.S. visa when they were arrested during a police raid on the government-built housing complex where they were living in her apartment. Venezuelan authorities alleged Holt was stockpiling “weapons of war.”
Holt states that the weapons were planted.
He has been in jail since 2016 as a political prisoner: video from John Sexton’s article,
In addition to the weapons charges, Holt is also being held on suspicion of being an American spy.