President Donald Trump secured the release of Josh Holt, an American missionary, from a Venezuelan prison and the moment he was reunited with his parents after two years was captured on film.
Holt traveled to Venezuela in June 2016 to marry a woman, Thamara Candelo, who he met online.
He was trying to secure visas for Candelo and her daughter when he was arrested for allegedly stockpiling weapons for the purpose of overthrowing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
Since his arrest, his mother, Laurie, worked to have her son freed from the prison, where she said he was being held on false charges and suffering from health problems.
On Saturday, she was reunited with her son, his wife, and her daughter after two years.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who pushed for his release, tweeted a video of the moment Holt’s parents got to hug their son and meet their daughter-in-law and granddaughter.
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) May 26, 2018
After shaking Hatch’s hand, Holt embraced his mother, who was crying, for a full 30 seconds. Holt’s father also gave his son a grand embrace and while smiling ear to ear, cracked a joke.
“We need somebody to mow the lawn,” he said. “It’s about time.”
On Saturday night, Holt also met with Trump, who lauded his ability to withstand “more than most people could endure.”
“I want to thank your parents for being such loving parents,” the president told Holt’s mom and dad. “There wasn’t an hour or minute that you weren’t thinking about this man.”
His mom expressed her sincerest thanks for Hatch and Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) who fought for his release, as well as, Maduro, for “letting him come home.”
“I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude,” Holt told Trump. “Not really the great vacation I was looking for.”
The president also mentioned other Americans who are being held in other foreign countries and shared his confidence that his administration will be able to secure the releases of others, as well.