Our dear, Josh Holt went to Venezuela on a legal visa to marry his Venezuelan fiancee, and intended to stay for a couple months until returning stateside. Due to the current political climate in Venezuela, along with the strained US-Venezuelan relationship, this placed him in political danger. A couple of weeks after arriving there, on Thursday, June 30, 2016, he was followed by the police to his home, where the police allegedly uncovered assault rifles and other military items. He was subsequently arrested, under suspicion of conspiring against the Venezuelan government.
Due to the history of political prisoners being used as propaganda to promote the Venezuelan government's ideals,and knowing Josh's character, capacity to do good, and inability to do harm, we are thoroughly convinced that the evidence was planted and the process was rigged. He has never published nor expressed any desire to conspire against the Venezuelan government. It is disgusting that the Venezuelan government has chosen to use him as a form of propaganda.
Any donation is greatly appreciated, as the leagal system (abroad) is very expensive. Any donation will go towards bringing our Joshua home.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Josh, and we will do everything we can to bring you safely home.
We love you Josh!
Jenna Holt - Josh's sister
The attached is a clip that we were able to obtain from the prison where Josh is being held. His health is not good, and we need to get him out.
I have been told by people that we need to post where the money is going. So just an fyi, we have paid many thousands of dollars more than what is showed we raised on the web page in legal fees, expenses and for food for Josh and Thamy. We have to provide food for them or they will not eat. Luckily we have Thamy's mom who is able to take food into them.
For more information just google Josh Holt Venezuela, and there is more information than I could ever put on this sight.
Bless you and your families, and we hope you have a Merry Christmas!!
(we are Christians, so I'm sorry if that phrase offends you)
We are asking you to please share this, and ask others too as well.
After months of anguish and continued prayers, Josh and Thamy continue being held hostage, basically kidnapped unjustly. They are still living a nightmare by being held hostage in a hellish prison in Venezuela.
Remember they have not even been formally charged or had their due process, because the judge has NOT shown up for 5 yes (five) court dates. Again, please share so we can help get them home, as well as bring awareness to the horrific situation that is happening in Venezuela. Thank you so much for your support.
James, Ramjet, and Luca, you all are disgusting and should be EXTREMELY ashamed of yourselves. This family is missing him and you dare say such selfish, insulting things? Was that really necessary? Hope karma comes around, and we all know what karma is... And it's not a good word, and you all deserve it. Think twice next time before speaking, and maybe consider not thinking of yourself. We have too many selfish people in the world like you. As to the family; so sorry for the situation. I hope you can get him back home safely.
Please reach out to Foro Penal Venazolano, this is an NGO of pro-bono lawyers assisting those who have been arbitrarily detained by the Venezuelan regime. They're the best human rights attorneys, and free, They speak English as well. https://foropenal.com/contacto https://foropenal.com/ https://twitter.com/porhumanidad
Please follow Melissa Roberts advice, Foro Penal Venezolano can help you, the president of this organization was my professor at law school a couple of years ago and I witnessed his dedication and effort to help those in need. I am deeply sorry about this, I will keep Josh in my prayers so he can return safe and sound to the states.
Such an unfortunate situation for the family. I am married into a Venezuelan family and know the daily horrors of the country that is literally on the brink of collapse and lawlessness. That said, I have also been smart enough to know that, as an American, I would have an immediate target on my back if I ever tried to enter the country. I don't think this young man respected just HOW bad the current situation is down there. President Maduro (who's regime has been built almost entirely on hatred on the US) is currently in the middle of being ousted by his people. This means he is extraordinarily desperate and nervous of American/foreign influence of unseating his power. Right now is literally the WORST time for an American to enter the country, and that's exactly when this young man decided to do it. That makes me shake my head, honestly. Prayers to family and this young man and hope he gets home safely. Venezuelan society doesn't play by the same rules as the rest of the civilized world unfortunately. Law and order do not exist. It's going to take some major efforts (legal or otherwise) to make sure no further damage occurs.
To the family and friends of Josh Holt: I'm a Venezuelan citizen who studied and lived in the U.S. in the 80's but after school days I have always lived in Venezuela. Your are dealing with the most corrupt and anti-democratic government this country has faced in its entire history. As many other posted comments, a word of advise is to seek legal counseling from Foro Penal Venezolano, a pro-bono non-government organization with not only highly qualified lawyers, but also with an impeccable record based in honesty and work ethics. In the other hand, what is the U.S. Embassy doing to ensure Josh is provided with a fare treatment? This all seem like a typical case of gross and abuse of authority to frame an american citizen just because the U.S. Government has issued warrants to high ranking Venezuelan pro Chavez officials and members of the corruption gang that hold power in Venezuela.
This happen to my brother two years ago. An American there with his Venezuelan wife. A very eerily similar situation and is unfortunately still being held. It has been a nightmare for our family. Would love to speak with you. This has been a fight and horrible journey. We can let you know all the things we do and have done. Maybe uniting and getting more word out can help them both!!
Why would he do that? Same reason why I do not pack my bags and go to Iraq or same reason why North Koreans and South Koreans don't mix territory... He is not the brightest fish in the sea.... but hope all the best for him. I am reminded of that one guy that went to North Korea and got arrested for trying to steal a sign of some kind....
Super sad situation. I've traveled all over Central and South America, for work. The comments like those made by James, Luca, and Jess Miller below are not only disrespectful, but also naive. I never rule out anything, but I'm 99.9% certain this guy has been framed and is being used as his family suggest. I've been to Venezuela for work, and like mentioned by others, it is a beautiful country....but it's also the country that has the worst anti-American propaganda I've ever seen or been to. It's yellow journalism at it's worst....in fact, it's not even yellow journalism, it's state sponsored propaganda, reminiscent of the propaganda that Nazi Germany used....it's 99.9% controlled by the "socialist" party leadership, and it really makes Americans look like the devil incarnate. One recommendation I'd give this family, is to reach out to the many Venezuelan MLB baseball players, and attempt to get their support (even if just through social media) for your cause. Unlike many "latin" American countries, Venezuela's most followed sport is baseball....those players from Venezuela can be a real asset to your cause, and help get your message across to the public at large in Venezuela. I'm sure the other legal advice mentioned here is solid as well. There's also an underground, or semi-underground, network of news reporters and organizations that work outside the propaganda machine that could be of some help...I'm sure a google search can reveal a lot about them. Good luck to the Holt family....praying for you and your son/brother, and hoping for the best!
Received a reply from the Office of Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) Dear Mr. Cushman: Thank you for contacting me about Joshua Holt and his imprisonment in Venezuela. State Department officials are in contact with both Mr. Holt and the relevant Venezuelan authorities about his case, and I know that Senator Hatch from Utah has spoken to Vice President Biden and Secretary Kerry directly about his ongoing detention. Like you, I am continuing to follow this situation closely, and I hope it comes to a quick and favorable end for Mr. Holt and his family. Sincerely, PATRICK LEAHY United States Senator
I regret very much what is happening to Josh and his family. I reject the atrocious comments from James, Ramjet, and Luca. I am a Venezuelan that travels frequently to Utah. I have a son who is a returned missionary and my two daughters graduated from BYU. This is an extremely corrupt, neocomunist government that has been in power for 17 years now. It controls the country through fear, electoral fraud, and crime. My advice is to approach Foro Penal Venezolano (FPV), a pro-bono association of highly competent lawyers that defends human rights and political prisoners. FPV is recognized by the government and, in my opinion, no other association or individual is more qualified to deal with Josh's problem. This is the link: https://foropenal.com/
This breaks my heart. I'm Venezuelan and have lived in Utah for almost 25 years. I'd 8to visit and take my children and husband to see the places I enjoyed as a childhood. Unfortunately because of the corruption amongst authorities, government, etc., I refuse. As someone said earlier, those behind this plot are only looking for money. To the Holt family, I am sorry and we will keep you in our prayers.
Has the family contacted their representatives in Congress? Diplomatic relations with some countries can be difficult at times. However, it seems from my observations that Senators have a way of getting the ball rolling in the right direction with these things. Leaving things up to the people at the State Department isn't always the fastest and most effective way to go about this type of thing.
I work for British Petroleum in Venezuela and we are very happy here. This is a beautiful country full of nice people. I have never seen any problem, I just came from Colonia Tovar and had a delicious German lunch with real german beers brewed right there by real german settlers, and paid with my credit card. Venezuela is a country full of freedom, there is freedom of press, freedom of religions, etc. there is not speed limit in the highways, I can drive at 200 MPH, and nobody is going to arrest me. In this country is very hard get arrested. You have to be involved in some really serious nasty crime in order to get arrested. If your son got arrested is because he was doing something really bad or his wife was involved in something really bad. My suggestion is to contact the US Embassy in Caracas and see if they recommend a good attorney. Good luck.