Your Feel-Good Story of the Weekend: American Hostage Josh Holt is Back Home. [VIDEO]

Your Feel-Good Story of the Weekend: American Hostage Josh Holt is Back Home. [VIDEO]

Your Feel-Good Story of the Weekend: American Hostage Josh Holt is Back Home. [VIDEO]

I don’t think it’s appropriate to wish someone a “Happy Memorial Day,” even though it’s part of a long weekend marking the start of summer. I believe it should be a somber time to reflect on those who died in defense of the nation.

But for the Holt family it is a very happy Memorial Day weekend, and it should be. It’s because a member of their family, held hostage in Venezuela for nearly two years, just came home.

In June, 2016, Utah native Josh Holt traveled to Venezuela to marry a woman he had met online. Now this isn’t one of those “mail order bride” stories, either; Holt, a Mormon, found Thamara Caleño while searching for Spanish-speaking Mormons who could help him with the language. Holt traveled to Venezuela and married her, but in July found himself arrested by the Venezuelan government. The accusation? Stockpiling weapons and trying to destabilize the nation.

Yeah, that sounds like something a devout Mormon would do.

Josh Holt was held for almost two years without trial in collapsing Venezuela. But President Trump and his State Department didn’t forget Holt. So Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met with Nicolas Maduro — yes, that Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan strongman who is basically destroying his nation.

Yet Corker — wonder of wonders — managed to get Holt’s release.

Finally, as of Saturday afternoon, Josh and Thamy Holt were on their way home.

President Trump tweeted this:

On Saturday night, Josh Holt, along with his wife and her two daughters, finally saw his mother after two years. The video of their reunion has all the feels.

Later in the evening, Holt and his family met with President Trump at the White House.

So how did the Trump administration get Josh Holt back? Surely there was a quid pro quo, right?

Nope, according to officials of the White House National Security Council. There was no exchange, no strings attached. This is especially surprising, considering that earlier this week Maduro expelled top U.S. diplomats after the U.S. put tougher sanctions on his government. It certainly isn’t out of the goodness of Maduro’s heart, either — he’s basically starving his own countrymen. So why would he have compassion on an American hostage?

Obama was president at the time that Josh Holt was arrested, but it took Trump to get him home again — just like three American prisoners held in North Korea came home under Trump’s watch, too. Now it’s not all roses and lollipops — Venezuela still holds five American Citgo executives. Moreover, American pastor Andrew Brunson still lingers in a Turkish prison. But now there’s greater hope for families of American hostages than there ever was under President Obama. Because good things can happen when an American president flexes our strength, and not try to make nice with dictators.

We welcome Josh Holt back home, and we welcome his wife Thamy and her daughters to America.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Scott says:

    Nice piece Kim. Though one small thing. while I have no doubt that his imprisonment was pure BS, more aimed to be a slap at the previous occupant than based on anything Josh might have done, your line

    “The accusation? Stockpiling weapons and trying to destabilize the nation.
    Yeah, that sounds like something a devout Mormon would do.”
    Actually, it sounds exactly like something they would do, from two standpoints. First, all mormons I know are basically preppers, and they all say their religion tells them to be prepared to be self sufficient for months. Second, if you look at the history of the mormons, including their leaders personally, when they first settled in Untah, before it was a state. They had a very bloody history, one of ambush and murder of anyone who was NOT a mormon, who dared to enter the territory.
    So like I said, while it’s great that he’s back home, inaccurate hyperbole hurts the overall story (sorry to be so preachy, especially on a Sunday morning…)

    • pkudude99 says:

      They are encouraged to have 72-hour kits for emergencies, and a year’s food supply for if there’s a layoff or something, but that’s it. Sure it’s more “prepper” than most, but you’ll never hear them use that term. It’s simply called “food storage” within the culture. And even then, I’d be surprised if more than about 5-10% actually did it.

      Your conflation of the Mountain Meadows Massacre as being a general policy of all Mormons in the Utah territory for many years is rather ridiculous as well.

  • Johnny says:

    We may never know what strings President Trump pulled to get him freed, but we can still enjoy the success.
    To quote an old Loony Tunes:
    “I don’t know how yuze done it, but I know yuze done it!”

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