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US sanctions remain despite Mormon missionary release from Venezuela jail

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US sanctions remain despite Mormon missionary release from Venezuela jail

US sanctions remain despite Mormon missionary release from Venezuela jail
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The United States says it won't be relaxing sanctions on Venezuela — despite obtaining the release of imprisoned missionary Josh Holt.

A Utah-native, Holt flew back to the States on Saturday after Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro ordered his release as a goodwill gesture to the US.

He'd been in jail on spying and other charges after travelling to Caracas to marry a Venezuelan woman he'd dated online.

The Mormon missionary, his Venezuelan wife Thamara Caleño and her daughter were seen embracing Holt's parents in a video released by the office of Senator Orrin Hatch.

Politicians from Utah, including Senator Hatch, advocated for Holt's release. In an accompanying statement on his Facebook page, he said the reunion came “after two years of hard work.”

Earlier in May, Holt made a desperate Facebook plea for help after a riot at the prison where they were held.