Durbin Statement On New Videos Of Josh Holt, A U.S. Citizen Imprisoned In Venezuela

ASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after Josh Holt, a U.S. citizen imprisoned on false charges, was seen begging for his life in two videos from inside a Caracas prison:

I recently visited Venezuela and met with, among many others, President Maduro.  I appealed to him directly to release Josh Holt and his Venezuelan wife, who are being held on plainly political charges. Maduro told me he was seriously considering it. Now, as reports of dangerous riots emerge from the notorious Helicoide Prison—a torture chamber where the regime holds political prisoners—Maduro has taken no such steps. Instead he is recklessly forging ahead with a sham election while innocent people languish in prison.  

Let me be clear: the Venezuelan government is only isolating itself further at the expense of its people. I hold the Venezuelan government directly responsible for Holt’s safety and immediate release.