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], a Utah man who traveled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry a woman he met online but soon found himself jailed and later branded the CIA[2]’s top spy in Latin America, has been set free by the anti-American Maduro[3] government.

He says he was “overwhelmed with gratitude.”

Holt[4] and his wife, Thamara Caleno, arrived Saturday evening at Washington Dulles International Airport for a tearful reunion with his parents, Laurie[5] and Jason Holt. A few hours later, President Donald Trump welcomed them to the White House[6].

“Those two years, they were a very, very, very difficult two years,” said an emotional Joshua Holt, sitting next to Trump[7] 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[8], Trump[9] said: “You’ve gone through a lot. More than most people could endure.”

The Utah man’s mother, Laurie Holt[10], thanked Trump[11] and the lawmakers for her son’s safe return, adding: “I also want to say thank you to President Maduro[12] for releasing Josh and letting him come home.”

Their release came one day after Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.[13], held a surprise meeting in Caracas[14] with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro[15], who the Trump administration says runs a “dictatorship” and just won re-election in a “sham” vote.

Trump[16], in a tweet, described Holt[17] as a “hostage.” The U.S. contended Holt[18] was held on trumped-up charges.

Months of secret, backchannel talks between an aide to Corker[19], chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and close allies of Maduro[20] preceded their return. Yet Holt[21]’s release had seemed unlikely even a week ago....

Joining Trump[22] in the Oval Office were Corker, Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Utah Rep. Mia Love, all Republicans. The lawmakers thanked Trump for his support.The White House[23] learned from Corker[24] on Friday of Holt[25]’s impending release, according to a U.S. official who has closely followed Holt[26]’s plight and spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private talks.Holt[27] 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[28] tweeted.When he departed the Caracas airport earlier, Holt[29] told The Associated Press that the ordeal had left him “exhausted.”Venezuela[30]’s communications minister, Jorge Rodriguez, said their release was a goodwill gesture that

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