LDS Utahn Josh Holt and Wife Released from Venezuelan Prison

Josh and Thamy Holt

After being incarcerated for two years, Josh Holt and his wife Thamy have been released from prison in Venezuela. Upon their release on Saturday morning, May 26th, Senator Orrin Hatch issued the following statement:

I’m pleased to announce that after two years of hard work, we’ve secured the release of Josh and Thamy Holt, who are now on their way home to the United States from Venezuela.

Over the last two years I’ve worked with two Presidential administrations, countless diplomatic contacts, ambassadors from all over the world, a network of contacts in Venezuela, and President Maduro himself, and I could not be more honored to be able to reunite Josh with his sweet, long-suffering family in Riverton.

I want to thank Chairman Bob Corker for his pivotal efforts, and that of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for their help in this effort. I want to particularly thank Caleb McCarry, whose expertise and effort in Venezuela on my behalf has been instrumental in bringing Josh home.

President Trump shared his congratulations via Twitter: “Good news about the release of the American hostage from Venezuela. Should be landing in D.C. this evening and be in the White House, with his family, at about 7:00 P.M. The great people of Utah will be very happy”!

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence wrote on Twitter. “Sanctions continue until democracy returns to Venezuela.”

Congresswoman Mia Love made the following statement:

I am beyond thrilled that Josh Holt is coming home. The President phoned me this morning to share the great news, and I’m grateful that President Trump for listening and getting Josh home.

I’ve always said that if my son or daughter were in this situation, I would want my member of Congress to do everything they could to get them home. It’s good to be able to be part of the effort so we can all rest easy now.

Over the 2 years Josh has been in prison, I have worked with the President, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sen. Bob Corker, John Kelley, Secretary Pompeo, the State Department and many others who all came together to bring Josh Home. and of course had constant contact with Josh’s family.

I am overjoyed for Josh, Thamy their children and for Laurie and Jason Holt, who have had prayers answered today.

Ill health and prison riots had Josh and his family fearing for his life.

Holt, of Riverton, was incarcerated after he traveled to Venezuela to marry his fiance. A few days after the wedding, he and his wife were arrested and Venezuelan authorities claimed they found assault weapons in their apartment.

American diplomats have recently been banished from Venezuela.

Holt’s family insists the couple was wrongly accused, and the US State Department has been calling for Holt’s release.


Read about Josh and Thamy’s welcome home and more about their case.


Gale Boyd is the managing editor for She is a Jewish convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has lived all over the world. She has raised 6 Third Culture Kids and is always homesick for somewhere.