Maduro negotiates for Holt release, in exchange for lifting of sanctions
Maduro has dispatched a key ally to Washington, ostensibly to negotiate a prisoner release, in exchange for lifting of sanctions on the Venezuelan government.
Two days ago Florida Senator Marco Rubio, denounced through his Twitter account that the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela had sent the illegitimate governor of Carabobo state, Rafael Lacava, to Washington to lobby in favor of lifting Sanctions against the Venezuelan government.
Yesterday it was confirmed that Lacava is in the United States capital, and EFE has reported that the Chavez regime is using its American prisoner, Joshua Holt, as a bargaining chip in negotiations.
“The governor of the Venezuelan state of Carabobo…has been in recent contact with American congressmen in Washington, with regard to securing the release of the American arrested in Caracas, Joshua Holt,” legislative sources confirmed today to EFE.
Also, the agency notes that “the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Republican Bob Corker, is one of the people with whom Lacava has met.”
A spokesman for the State Department also told EFE that there is still no clarity on whether Lacava will meet with a high-level State Department officials. “There are no meetings to announce at this time,” the source told the agency.
Joshua Holt was arrested in June 2016. He was with his wife in the Libertador municipality of Caracas, when a raid was carried out at his building. According to the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro the American was conspiring to attack the Venezuelan state. He was accused of terrorism and authorities allegedly seized several weapons.
However, the detainee has alleged that he was in Venezuela because he was planning to marry his partner, Tamara Belén Carreño. He planned to then return to the United States with his children.
According to Tamara Carreño, the weapons allegedly found in Holt’s apartment were planted by the officials of the political police, the SEBIN. Several witnesses confirmed this version of events.
The United States immediately condemned the arrest and insists that Joshua Holt must be released. On his Twitter account, Senator Rubio said that the “innocent” American should be released “as soon as possible.” He added that there will be no concession or deal in exchange for his freedom.
This would appear to suggest, then, that the chavista governor could be in Washington in order to negotiate the release of Holt in exchange for lifting of sanctions on the Venezuelan government, or even the release of high profile Venezuelan hostages over to the United States.
“Rubio, in an email sent by his office to his colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee, denounced Lacava’s visit as an attempt to negotiate Holt’s freedom in exchange for sanctions or the release of the first lady’s nephews, who were convicted last year,” reports the Associated Press.
However, withdrawing sanctions against his government appears to be Maduro’s top priority, and the main objective of Lacava’s Washington visit. The Chavista regime has also spent millions of dollars on lobbying firms to this end.
Maduro will be running for another presidential term this year, in an election that few think will be fair.