Tags: joshua holt | american prisoner | venezuelan prison

American Jailed in Venezuela Describes Horrifying Experience

American Jailed in Venezuela Describes Horrifying Experience
(Chris Kleponis/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 June 2018 02:22 PM

Joshua Holt, an American who spent almost two years in a Venezuelan prison without a trial, described his ordeal in an interview on NBC’s "Today" show on Tuesday.

Holt, 26, went to Venezuela to marry Thmara Candelo, a woman he met online. They were arrested after an anti-gang police squad accused them of stockpiling weapons at Candelo’s family’s house.

"At first, I wasn't as afraid because here in America you trust your police officers," Holt said on Tuesday. "Over there, I didn't know it was so dangerous."

Holt opened up to "Today" about his experiences in El Helicoide, or The Helix, which is known for its history of human rights abuse. He said that cockroaches would frequently crawl over him in his cell, which was roughly the same size as a twin-sized bed with a plastic bag covering the door.

"They never took me out to go to the bathroom," he said. "If you had to use the bathroom, you either had a bottle or a newspaper."

Holt said that the police tried to make Candelo turn on him by putting his fingers in pencil sharpeners and threatening to tase her.

The State Department described the charges as "questionable," but Holt wasn’t released until a few weeks ago, after a riot broke out at the prison where he was incarcerated. He was able to post two videos from inside the prison to Facebook, which brought his case back into focus, and American politicians negotiated for his release.

Now back in America, Holt told "Today" that he is in the process of writing a book with his wife to draw attention to the problems that people in those situations face.

"Through that book and through talking to people, we're hoping to help bless people," he said.

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Joshua Holt, an American who spent almost two years in a Venezuelan prison without a trial, described his ordeal in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday.
joshua holt, american prisoner, venezuelan prison
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2018-22-05
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 02:22 PM
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