The AP’s Joshua Goodman has the story of Joshua Holt, the Mormon missionary from Utah who fell in love with a local girl, decided to marry her…and ended up rotting in El Helicoide political prison for his trouble.
In the letter written in the past week, Holt describes being overwhelmed by fear and confusion following his arrest, saying he was forced to sleep for a week and a half in a hot cell with two tiny out-of-reach windows and barely big enough for a twin-size bed.
“The following hours were full of fear and terror as they threatened to do horrible things to me, as they took pictures of me and laughed as if I were some freak of nature or some animal from another world. Even the head boss over all of SEBIN took photos with me as if I were some sort of trophy to him,” he wrote, referring to the initials for Venezuela’s secret police. “I thought this must be the lake of fire and brimstone.”
He denies any wrongdoing and accuses police of planting the weapon and a grenade in the apartment after officers unsuccessfully tried to shake him down for a $10,000 bribe.
Holt said he cries himself to sleep questioning his faith and struggling with a string of illnesses.
“I have had one sickness after another, kidney stones, bronchitis, and now have something that makes me itch like I have never itched before. I had times where I could barely breathe. The judge approved not one time, but twice for me to go to the hospital, however I have never left the jail,” he wrote.
Another life destroyed by chavismo’s pathological need to sustain its paranoid delusions: a sickening story of superfluous authoritarianism.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.