Mom of Utah mormon jailed in Venezuela fears her son may die

RIVERTON, Utah, Sept. 8 (UPI) — The mother of Josh Holt, a 24-year-old newlywed Utah native imprisoned in Venezuela, has urged President Nicolas Maduro‘s regime to provide adequate medical care to her son, saying she fears that without it he may die.

Holt and his wife Thamara Caleno Candelo were arrested on June 30. Since then, fears over Holt’s health have compounded. Laurie Moon Holt said her son has internal bleeding, kidney stones, phenomena symptoms and bronchitis.

“I am pleading as a mom to the Venezuelan government to, please, don’t just let him lay there and die,” she said during a press conference on Wednesday outside of her Riverton home alongside her husband and other family and friends. “President Maduro, I don’t know if you have children, but if you do, imagine one of them being in a prison and not being able to get the adequate care they need when they’re sick.”

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Holt was linked by the Venezuelan government to the death of Omar Jesus Molina Marin, an official with the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the country’s ruling party founded by Hugo Chavez and currently run by Maduro. Marin was found dead on April 11 with multiple bullet wounds.

Venezuela’s former interior minister, Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez, said Holt and his new wife had a cache of weapons, strategic maps and computer equipment to carry out terrorist acts. Holt and his family deny the allegations.

“He woke up this morning and there was blood everywhere,” Laurie Holt said. “The jail is not going to take him to the hospital even though it was recommended by a physician at least three or four times. I’m worried that Josh is going to die before we get him home.”

The couple will be brought before a Venezuelan judge for a hearing on Sept. 15.

In August, Holt wrote a letter in which he said he is accused of being a U.S. spy attempting to destabilize Maduro’s socialist government.

“I have been told by 10 or 20 people, prisoners, and guards, that I am here because I am American,” Holt wrote. “I have also been told by guards that Americans have no rights here.”



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