Washington, DC - On December 12, U.S. citizen Joshua Holt was charged after more than 17 months of detention. U.S. Embassy personnel were not permitted to observe Mr. Holt’s court hearing on December 12.
The United States remains extremely concerned for Mr. Holt’s health and welfare, which continues to deteriorate under the custody of SEBIN, the Venezuelan intelligence agency. The Embassy has repeatedly requested consular access pursuant to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Venezuela is legally obligated in accordance with the Convention to permit U.S. consular officers to visit U.S. citizens detained there. Too often, access is only belatedly granted, only to be canceled, withdrawn, or simply ignored, as was the case on December 12. We call on the Venezuelan government to grant immediate consular access to Mr. Holt. We remind the Venezuelan government that pursuant to its international obligations, Venezuela must grant Mr. Holt fair trial guarantees. His life should not be jeopardized under SEBIN’s custody. Therefore we renew our call for Mr. Holt’s immediate release on humanitarian grounds.