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Prison where Josh Holt is being held captive reportedly under attack

17 May 2018

"I need help. So they've taken the entire prison where I'm at".

In a midafternoon Facebook post, Joshua Holt, a USA citizen and missionary whose family has said he was framed on weapons charges while in Venezuela for his wedding, said, "Helicoide the prison where I am at has fallen the guards are here and people are trying to break in my room and kill me".

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. I have been begging my government for two years.

Josh Holt, 26, made multiple post on his Facebook, including two videos, claiming that the prison "has fallen" to unidentified people that are trying to kill him.

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Holt was arrested after traveling to Venezuela in the summer of 2016 to marry a woman, a Venezuelan native, who he had met on a dating website. His family has said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time of a raid in the Caracas neighborhood where his wife's family lives.

In a video seen on Twitter late on Wednesday Holt said, "I'm here to show you that I am not being kidnapped". They're outside, they're trying to break in. "They're saying they want me as their guarantee". They're saying they want to kill me. Chief Prosecutor Tarek Saab tweeted, "In the face of the events that happened today in the Sebin headquarters at the Helicoide, we sent a commission of the prosecutor's office to the facility. We need the people to help us".

The Trump administration has warned it could put crippling oil sanctions on Venezuela if Mr Maduro goes ahead with what the U.S. and others consider a sham presidential election on Sunday.

There was no official information on the incident and family members said they were in the dark about what was happening at the Helicoide, headquarters of intelligence agency Sebin, where several hundred people are behind bars.

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The Holt family released a statement through Trujillo, saying they were both "deeply troubled and concerned" about the riots.

"The Government of Venezuela is directly responsible for their safety and will be held responsible if anything happens to them."
Maduro has said all jailed activists were being held on legitimate charges of violence and subversion.

The US embassy released a photo of Todd Robinson, the top American diplomat in Venezuela, leaving the foreign ministry and saying he had received no information from the Government about the "riot".

"Joshua Holt and other United States citizens are in danger".

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"He remains focused on Josh's safety as we work to bring him home on humanitarian grounds", the office of the Utah Republican said.

Prison where Josh Holt is being held captive reportedly under attack