A Utah mother’s message to Trump

Posted at 9:42 PM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-24 18:36:08-05

RIVERTON -  Monday, a Utah mother released a video to media outlets across the country in hopes that it would capture the attention of President Donald Trump.

"I'm hoping that Trump sees it, or has seen it already," said Laurie Holt, the mother of 24-year-old Josh Holt, a Riverton man who was arrested in Venezuela last June.

Holt went to Venezuela to marry a woman he met online six months before, despite warnings from family and friends that Venezuela was a dangerous place, especially for Americans.

"President Trump, my son's only offense is that he's an American citizen," Holt said in the video.

The video was produced by a local, award winning Utah man who felt the urge to reach out and help the Holts after hearing their story.

Josh Holt and his wife Thamy were arrested by Venezuela police just days after their wedding when police went into the couple's apartment unannounced and allegedly found two assault rifles and a grenade.

“Guns are planted, false charges are made, and the Venezuelan government destroys the freedom of innocent people,” Holt continued in her message to Trump.

The Holts have stayed quiet for the last three months after Laurie Holt says the State Department asked the family for silence so they could work back-door channels without pressure from Venezuelan officials.

"It’s hurt Josh more than it helped," Laurie Holt said of the request. "People in Venezuela in the National Assembly thought he had been let go. And so when they heard he was still there they were like, 'well why isn’t his mom publicizing it?”

That's what Laurie Holt is now doing in this video to President Donald Trump. The more than three minute video details her son's arrest and his jail cell conditions since then. It also describes a corrupt Venezuelan judicial system.

The biggest recent hope for the family came last Wednesday, when word came that Utah Senator Orrin Hatch had met with Secretary of State nominee, Rex Tillerson.  Senator Hatch's team confirmed in a phone call to Laurie that the two talked about Josh Holt and the possibilities of freeing him.

Now, the Holts hope their new video will catch the eye of the President.

Check out the video here.