Overwhelmed by Fear

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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.

34 COMMENTS

  1. I read in the last few days that Chavismo now has 11 people with US passports under arrest. Is this some infantile plan to try and shakedown the USA to extort the release of the narco-sobrinos?

    • Yes and no. There was a window to kidnap an American in order to keep the nephews from talking. Everything is on the table for the nephews including new lease on life with assumed identitities if they hand over the aunt and uncle. The kidnapping of Josh lets the nephews know that a future possible deal is in the works. IOW, the nephews will now not talk.

      It’s impossible to predict the future and what will happen once the nephews are convicted and incarcerated but there will be NO deal for Josh or the other Americans in Venezuela. This is not a spy case, it’s outright narcotics trafficking.

      The practice of detaining Americans for future swap is carried out by Cuba, Iran and North Korea to name a few. Venezuela now joins the list.

      The detention of U.S. citizens in Venezuela was predicted the moment the nephews where arrested and was predicted again days before Josh was arrested. This is all very predictable behavior from the regime. There is nothing new here.

      The U.S. government does care about Josh and is doing what it can above and below the table. Whether it’s doing enough is a fair question. It’s all a matter of priorities.

  2. Yes it is, but I wouldn’t dismiss it as “infantile”. See what the Cubans did to Alan Gross, and what they got in return.

  3. Now that it has been confirmed that the U.S. paid a ransom for the release of several Iranian held US citizens, it is open season on US citizens travelling in certain foreign countries. There is money to be made and it can be delivered in cash, gold and silver loaded in pallets and transported by airplanes, just like it was in Iran. The opportunities are endless.

  4. It’s the Chavista schizophrenia.

    So they hark on ‘motor turismo’, but they of lead Venezuela to become the land of Mad Max. To top this, they now make it Midnight Express – South America. Oh, and let us not forget the visa requirements for US citizens valid for one year at $160 a pop.

    Given that my wife is Venezuelan we would spend Christmas there with my children up to 2012. Now risking a game of duck, duck, you-are-kidnapped-by-the-government rules out any possibility of a visit, not even for abuelita’s funeral.

    Chavistas cannot even feed their people, so of course this complaint is trivial in the big picture. But it just goes to show what a far reaching cluster fuck they are.

  5. Francisco, sorry but the Vox article has been superseded by more recent reports wherein American ifficials admitted that the sequence of events was as follows. The Iranian plane was loaded with the pallets of Euros, gold and siver at a Swiss airport but was not allowed to take off until a plane in Tehran with the prisioners left Iranian air space. Where i come from that is a ransom, prisioners for money. The truth is not boring. It is what it is.

    • Yes. Paid money they’d have had to pay anyway under international law slightly earlier than they would’ve had to otherwise = Ransom.

      Um hm.

      Propagating Trump bullshit is not going to get Josh Holt freed.

      • Money they’d have to pay anyway is not ransom. But what is money they’d have to pay anyway sped up or slowed down in order to have the prisoner agreement upheld called? It’s not ransom. But it’s not nothing. There was some quid pro quo in there that is worth discussing and is not necessarily Trump bullshit.

      • Quico, are you implying you’re trying to get Josh freed? He was kidnapped on June 30th and you took almost a month to write about it. I commented here the day after his kidnapping and explained exactly what was going on. It was ignored in usual CC fashion. I find it hard to believe that you or the CC writers care about this Gringo American. 25 days after his kidnapping you write about it because the AP decides to cover it. I bet the AP was prodded by Josh’s friends and family.

    • In this case the “truth” is more nuanced than campaign rhetoric. As hard as it may be to accept, the world is not black and white.

  6. There’s no particular pattern. It doesn’t have to do with Alan Gross, or Iran. They arrest these suckers for propaganda purposes. Then, after awhile, they throw them back. Watch how the US doesn’t exchange this guy for a narconephew.

  7. I know it’s wrong. I do. But I still relish the idea of fat gringos breaking the Venezuelan monopoly on experiencing hell.

  8. “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.”

    Ah, that makes more sense. Law enforcement here can’t help but being pure scum. Not every one of them, of course.

    • the shakedown is a ruse to see if he had money and then take it. Josh was not getting released had he paid. There is a lot of deception with Josh’s case.

  9. I am reminded of the couple on their honeymoon who were abducted by the VZ gubmint and held hostage until Peruvian (?) leaders forced MadMaxMaduro to sent them on their way.

    My “give a shit” level for VZ is quickly draining.

  10. Francisco, no money, no prisioners say the Iranians. No prisioner release, no payment says the U.S. That = ransom and that is what happened. And sorry to disappoint but I wont vote for Trump so forget the Trump insinuations.

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