Riot erupts at Venezuela detention centre, Utah man pleads for help

In another video on social media, Joshua Holt, a U.S. citizen and Mormon missionary whose family has said he was framed on weapons charges while in Venezuela for his wedding, pleaded to be set free. "They're trying to kill me".

"I need help. So they've taken the entire prison where I'm at".

"The life of Joshua Holt is in danger and we call again on the government to release him for humanitarian reasons", the embassy wrote in Spanish.

The State Department has been working with US officials and Sen. Embattled head of state Nicolas Maduro, running for a second six-year period, is expected to win, having the banned the Opposition party and candidates and running against hand-picked candidates, amidst repression, vast censorship and widespread vote-buying, with the government conditioning sales of subsidized food and the adjudication of several bonuses to pro-Maduro votes on Sunday.

"Helicoide the prison where I am at has fallen the guards are here and people are trying to break in my room and kill me", said Holt, 26, in a video. His family has said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time of a raid in the Caracas neighborhood where his wife's family lives.

He said authorities had fired weapons and tear gas but detainees were holding out to demand freedom. Holt denies the charges. His family has denied the accusations, and believe the Venezuelan government is holding Holt and his wife to bargain with the US, which has imposed economic sanctions on the country.

The Trump administration has warned that it could put crippling oil sanctions on Venezuela if Maduro goes ahead with what the USA and others consider a sham presidential election Sunday. The political prisoners have peacefully taken control of it.

Senator Orrin Hatch has been working with the Trump Administration to bring Holt and his wife home. But he left shortly after nightfall with no answers, saying he was unable to meet with the foreign minister and other officials, including Maduro, either didn't take the embassy's calls or claimed not to have any knowledge about the case.

A third video shows a U.S. citizen, John Holt, who was arrested in Caracas in 2016 and has yet to be tried.

In a Spanish-language tweet, the United States embassy in Caracas said it was very concerned about the riot and the wellbeing of Holt and other USA citizens. "The Venezuelan government is directly responsible for its security and we will hold it responsible if something happens to them".



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