Venezuela political prisoners 'revolt' at Caracas jail


Josh Holt, a Utah man who has been held captive in a Venezuelan prison, pleaded for help on Facebook Wednesday claiming "people are tyring to break in [his] room and kill [him]". How long do I have to suffer?'

Holt, 26, has been locked in the prison since June 2016, when he and his wife, Thamara "Thamy" Caleno, were arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing weapons.

Political prisoners have always been complaining about the conditions they are held in and pressure groups inside Venezuela as well as overseas have called on the government of President Nicolás Maduro to free them but so far this has had little impact. I need your help to get me out of this place.

"We're demanding that all political prisoner be freed, all of us who have been held here, kidnapped for years without justice or due process", he told CNN via telephone from inside the jail. "We need the people to help us".

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Joshua Holt, a United States citizen held at the jail for two years pending trial, pleaded for help in a video message sent as the uprising was apparently going on.

The US embassy released a photo of Todd Robinson, the top American diplomat in Venezuela, leaving the foreign ministry and saying he had received no information from the Government about the "riot".

The riot was sparked after a young activist from the mountainous state of Tachira, Gregory Sanabria, was beaten by other prisoners, according to Patricia Gutierrez, wife of detained opposition leader Daniel Ceballos.

However, the country's Chief Prosecutor Tarek Saab tweeted: 'In the face of the events that happened in the Sebin headquarters at the Helicoide, we sent a commission of the prosecutor's office to the facility. That delegation spoke to a representative of the prisoners to respond to their requests.

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A prisoner's relative wipes away tears as she awaits news of her loved one inside the notorious detention centre.

The disturbance, the extent of which was not immediately known, has come days before a presidential election which has Venezuelans on edge. Maduro has said all jailed activists were being held on legitimate charges of violence and subversion.

"Joshua Holt and other USA citizens are in danger. The Venezuelan government is directly responsible for its security and we will hold it responsible if something happens to them".

In a prior Facebook post on Holt's profile Wednesday, Holt appears to make a plea for US officials to secure his release, saying he just wants to go home and be with his family.

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Todd Robinson, the chargé d'affaires at the U.S. embassy, went to the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry for information, the embassy added but there was, 'no response from the government'.