President Donald Trump, right, talks as Joshua Holt, who was recently released from a prison in Venezuela, joins him in the Oval Office of the White House, Saturday, May 26, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Joshua Holt[1], who traveled to Venezuela[2] from Utah in 2016 to marry a Spanish-speaking Mormon woman but soon found himself jailed and later branded the CIA[3]’s top spy in Latin America, has been set free by the anti-American Maduro[4] government.

He says he was “overwhelmed with gratitude.”

Holt[5] and his wife, Thamara Caleno, arrived Saturday evening at Washington Dulles International Airport for a tearful reunion with his parents, Laurie[6] and Jason Holt. A few hours later President Donald Trump[7] welcomed them to the White House[8].

“Those two years, they were a very, very, very difficult two years,” said an emotional Holt[9], sitting next to Trump[10] in the Oval Office. “Not really the great vacation that I was looking for … I’m just so grateful for what you guys have done.”

To Holt[11], Trump[12] said: “You’ve gone through a lot. More than most people could endure.”

The Utah man’s mother, Laurie Holt[13], thanked Trump[14] and the lawmakers for her son’s safe return, adding: “I also want to say thank you to President Maduro[15] for releasing Josh and letting him to come home.”

Their release came one day after Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.[16], held a surprise meeting in Caracas[17] with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro[18], who the Trump administration says runs a “dictatorship” and just won re-election in a “sham” vote.

Trump[19], in a tweet, described Holt[20] as a “hostage.” The U.S. contended Holt[21] was held on trumped up charges.

Months of secret, backchannel talks between an aide to Corker[22], chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and close allies of Maduro[23] preceded their return. Yet Holt[24]’s release had seemed unlikely even a week ago....

Joining Trump[25] in the Oval Officer were Corker[26], Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee and Utah Rep. Mia Love. The lawmakers thanked Trump[27] for his support.The White House[28] learned from Corker[29] on Friday of Holt[30]’s impending release, according to a U.S. official who has closely followed Holt[31]’s plight and spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private talks.Holt[32] and his wife were reunited at the Caracas airport with her daughter from a previous relationship, and all three boarded a chartered flight to Washington. “We are on our way home,” Corker[33] tweeted.When he departed the Caracas airport earlier, Holt[34] told The Associated Press that the ordeal had left him “exhausted.”Venezuela[35]’s

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