Path 27
News

'Hero' Mother Who Helped Free Son from Venezuelan Jail Celebrated at Funeral

Path 27

A Utah woman who spent nearly two years pushing to get her son freed from a Venezuelan jail was remembered by her family and friends for her fearlessness and determination at her funeral Saturday.

The 50-year-old Laurie Holt died unexpectedly Feb. 10 at her Riverton, Utah, home. Her death came less than one year after her son Josh Holt returned to the U.S. after being imprisoned for nearly two years on weapons charges that the Holts and U.S. politicians said were invented.

Laurie Holt’s husband says she died peacefully, though the family has not said what caused her death.

“She fought so hard in every single thing she did,” Josh Holt told hundreds of mourners who gathered inside a Latter-day Saints church in Riverton, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. “She fought so hard for me.”

Josh Holt said his family has received letters of support since his mother’s death, including many from people who never met her but were inspired by her relentless efforts to bring her son and his new wife back to the United States, the Tribune reported.

Trending:
Sodom & Gomorrah: People Having Sex in San Fran Street Go Viral, But the Comments May Be Worse

“That is my mother,” Josh Holt said. “She is my hero. She taught us so much.”

Laurie Holt, originally from Pocatello, Idaho, is survived by her husband and four adult children.

Her family noted in her obituary that she always found laughter in small things, even in life’s “darkest storms,” and found a way to juggle work, family and outside functions.

“We have lost our biggest hero, but heaven has gained a mighty warrior,” the obituary said.

Do you think this woman is a hero?

Her son Josh Holt returned to the U.S. with his Venezuelan wife, Thamara Caleno, in May 2018 after he was imprisoned in June 2016.

Holt went to the South American country in June 2016 to marry Caleno, who he met online while looking for a Spanish-speaking Mormon to help him improve his Spanish.

He had planned to spend several months in Caracas with his new wife and her two daughters to secure their visas so they could move with him to the U.S.

Instead, the couple was arrested and accused of stockpiling weapons. Venezuelan authorities suggested the case was linked to unspecified U.S. attempts to undermine President Nicolas Maduro’s rule amid deep economic and political turbulence.

Laurie Holt vehemently denied the accusations on her son’s behalf and raised awareness about her son’s incarceration by hosting rallies and fundraisers and doing media interviews.

Related:
Venezuelan Journalists Continue to Deliver News Despite Their President's Suppression of the Press

Their release came after secret back-channel talks between an aide to Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and close allies of Maduro.

President Donald Trump hosted the Holts at the White House to commemorate the release.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , ,
Path 27
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation