Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Venezuela political prisoners 'revolt' at Caracas jail

Venezuela political prisoners 'revolt' at Caracas jail

A Utah man imprisoned in Venezuela is pleading for People' assist getting out of a Caracas jail the place he has been held for 2 years with out trial.

Joshua Holt, a U.S. citizen held at the jail for two years pending trial, pleaded for help in a video message sent as the uprising was apparently going on.

Holt, of Riverton, has been incarcerated in Venezuela since 2016 after he traveled there to marry his fiance. Shortly afterward, the couple was arrested at her household's condominium after police alleged he was stockpiling weapons. His family has denied the accusations, and believe the Venezuelan government is holding Holt and his wife to bargain with the USA, which has imposed economic sanctions on the country. "The only people that are kidnapping me is the government of Venezuela".

"I need help. They have taken the entire prison where I am at", he can be heard saying in the first video.

"They're outside, they're trying to break in, they're saying they're going to kill me", the 26-year-old said as shouts could be heard.

"I've been begging my Government for two years".

Relatives of political prisoners held in one of Venezuela's most notorious prisons say the inmates have staged an uprising.

Trujillo declined to discuss how Holt was posting videos on his Facebook page, saying Holt's safety was in jeopardy and he didn't want to release any information that may harm him.

Sen. Orrin Hatch's office in a statement Wednesday said Hatch had been speaking with Holt's family, President Donald Trump's administration and others in Venezuela.

Venezuelan news media reported that political prisoners there are demanding an end to what they called torture and mistreatment of detainees, saying some inmates are minors and others are being held even though they have not been prosecuted.

Photos on social media show the swollen face of Mr Sanabria, a student held in El Helicoide pending trial ever since he took part in mass anti-government protest in 2014. "That delegation spoke to a representative of the prisoners to respond to their requests".

The United States embassy in Caracas said it was "very worried" about the situation at the detention centre. Holt denies the charges.

"The Sebin has told me that as long as my government continues attacking this government and as long as Marco Rubio continues talking about me the longer that they will never let me go", Holt said in a written message, referring to the Republican senator from Florida who has accused Maduro of keeping Holt as a "hostage" to extract concessions from the U.S.

Todd Robinson, the chargé d'affaires at the USA embassy, went to the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry for information, the embassy added.

Mr Ceballos, the former opposition mayor of the western city of San Cristóbal, said the inmates had taken control of parts of the jail. "The Venezuelan government is directly responsible for the security, and we will make it responsible if something happens to them".

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