Now Is Not the Time to Go to Venezuela

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

I feel sorry for Joshua Holt and his newly married bride, and their families. Joshua Holt, a Mormon missionary who met his prospective bride online, traveled to Venezuela so they could be married and he could bring his new wife, Thamara Caleno, to the United States once she got her U.S. visa. The plan did not go that way. The Venezuelan police arrested both Holt and Caleno for possessing two semi-automatic weapons and a hand grenade. However, according to Caleno’s neighbors, the police planted these weapons in Caleno’s apartment. According to those neighbors, who wish to remain anonymous (for good reason), there is no way that the Caleno family could have gotten these weapons legally or otherwise, and that these weapons could not have been obtained without everyone in the apartment complex knowing about them. Also, we must keep in mind that Holt is a Mormon missionary. Why on earth would he need any weapons of any kind?

It is crystal clear to me as to Caleno’s neighbors that the newly married couple have been framed by the Venezuelan authorities simply because Holt is a U.S. citizen. Joshua Holt will be held as a bargaining chip by the Venezuelan government in exchange for something the Venezuelan government wants from the United States. Despite all appeals from Holt’s family NOT to go to Venezuela, Joshua Holt did not listen. He may pay with his life. This brings up an important point I wish to convey to all my readers. When a country has been declared as too dangerous to go to by the U.S. State Department, or holds all Americans in contempt (or hostage), then I think people should consider seriously NOT GOING TO THAT PLACE. It has become clear that Venezuela, like North Korea, is now using Americans who go there as hostages for their plans of making the United States as a whole pay. Add on to this a spiraling crime rate, shortages of just about everything, and a country teetering on civil war, this is a country not going anywhere near.

For those who have family in Venezuela, I would recommend that they use another passport if they are dual nationals and NOT a U.S. passport, or find a way for family to visit in either the United States or a third country. I would have recommended that Joshua Holt did this—marry his bride in America or a third country for their protection. As it is now, the United States can do little or nothing to help Holt and his bride, and if the families of the two have to go through the insane legal process, it will cost mega-money. It is a mess that could have been and should have been avoided, and to all my readers I seriously urge that no one goes to Venezuela.

Comments are closed.