On anniversary of Josh Holt's capture, family has faith, says Trump team more attentive

On anniversary of Josh Holt's capture, family has faith, says Trump team more attentive (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Jason Holt remembers the day, one year ago, he learned his son Josh had been arrested in Venezuela, and accused of spying and having an AK-47 and old grenade.

“We got a Facebook message … that said 911, Josh-Thamy prison,” he said during an interview Friday. “We started looking and there was a news article attached from Venezuela that had Josh and Thamy front page in there, saying they were terrorists.”

The family, from the beginning, said it wasn’t true -- that soldiers planted evidence in the apartment of Josh Holt and his new wife, a Venezuelan woman -- and that since he’s been held as a “political pawn” amid a frosty relationship between the U.S. and a leftist Venezuelan government.

“He’s had a blood infection,” said Jason Holt of his son. “From the sketchy information we got, we thought he was going to bleed out. They wouldn’t take him to a hospital.”

Josh Holt has lost weight in prison -- 40 pounds or more.

Since his incarceration, a “Justice for Josh” Facebook page has gone up, lawyers hired, new lawyers hired, and Josh’s mother and Jason’s wife Laurie made a plea to President Trump in a YouTube video.

His father noted Josh Holt is still being held, but said the Trump administration is more attentive to his plight.

“The Obama administration wanted us to be quiet, keep quiet,” Jason Holt said. “Luckily we didn’t do that.”

Laurie Holt traveled to Washington, where her husband said she “went to the White House and met with Trump’s cabinet people there, so they’re taking an interest, and they’re talking about him now.”

On Friday, the sad one-year anniversary, Utah’s congressional delegation sent a letter to the president.

“Mr. Holt is not a political dissident, and no legitimate attempt has been made to even convict him of any recognizable crime,” wrote Rep. Chris Stewart and Rep. Rob Bishop, and Rep. Mia Love. “There is simply no reason for his year-long detention and extended suffering. We therefore ask that you vigorously pursue his safe, unconditional, and swift release.”

Jason Holt said Trump has been briefed.

“We just need them to step up and show that we’re the strongest country in the world, and get our prisoners out who are being held unjustly throughout the world."

He said the family has faith it will see Josh again.

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