Will Joshua Holt be Freed?

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

U.S. Vice-president Joe Biden as well as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have now become involved in trying to get a U.S. citizen named Joshua Holt released from prison in Venezuela. Holt’s drama is far from over. Despite the U.S. government now working in the open and behind the scenes to try and get this American released, I am not sure if Holt will be freed. The problem is that despite there being no credible evidence of any crime Holt has committed, nor reliable testimony that there is any guilt, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is unlikely to let Holt go so easily. Holt stands accused of being a spy for the United States and trying to foment a coup. Why? Holt may serve as a useful pawn for Maduro’s beleaguered socialist government trying to get concessions from the United States. And I suspect that is really what is going on.

Maduro’s socialist policies have caused food and consumer products shortages, there are hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans protesting everyday over Maduro’s polices, the political opposition is trying to do its best in getting rid of Maduro, and Maduro is increasingly becoming isolated in Latin America. Venezuela as a country is beginning to crumble, and the situation for Maduro is turning desperate. A judge who was supposed to hear Holt’s case did not appear at the appointed court date on September 15th. Because of this, the next court date will be October 10th. That is of course going on the premise that the judge will appear then either. I have a sinking feeling that the Venezuelan government will be dragging this out for long as it can so that it can get concessions from the United States. But will Holt and his wife Thamara Coleno Candelo, who is also being held in the same prison as Holt, survive all this time? Time is running out for Holt, Candelo, and for any action that the U.S. government might take.

Comments are closed.