Venezuela political prison seized by inmates ahead of presidential election

Venezuela political prison seized by inmates ahead of presidential election

In a midafternoon Facebook post, Joshua Holt, a USA citizen and missionary whose family has said he was framed on weapons charges while in Venezuela for his wedding, said, "Helicoide the prison where I am at has fallen the guards are here and people are trying to break in my room and kill me".

"I need help. They have taken the entire prison where I am at", he can be heard saying in the first video.

A Utah man imprisoned in Venezuela is pleading for People' assist getting out of a Caracas jail the place he has been held for 2 years with out trial.

Reuters was not able to determine the situation inside the Helicoide.

Chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab said he sent a delegation to the prison to speak with a representative of the inmates.

But Maduro's comments were overshadowed by reports of a major disturbance at El Helicoide, an iconic 1950s shopping mall that was converted into the headquarters of Venezuela's feared spy agency, the Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (SEBIN), and has become a crumbling symbol of the country's plunge into economic chaos and authoritarianism.

In another video on social media, Joshua Holt, a United States citizen and Mormon missionary whose family has said he was framed on weapons charges while in Venezuela for his wedding, pleaded to be set free.

Roderick Navarro, an exiled Venezuelan activist who said he was in touch with the rebelling inmates, told the Guardian they had taken control of the facility at about 2pm after being enraged by the alleged beating and torture of an incarcerated activist called Gregory Sanabria.

His mother, Laurie Holt, confirmed the page belonged to her son. Photos of a man with a bruised face who was identified as Sanabria were also posted on social media.

Rights groups and Maduro opponents have said several hundred political prisoners have been unfairly jailed.

"We are concerned about the riot at El Helicoide", Mr Robinson said in a statement, referring to the helix-shaped building where Maduro's top opponents are being held.

The U.S. Embassy stated in a message on social media that the Venezuelan authorities is straight accountable for Holt's security.

"Joshua Holt and other USA citizens are in danger".

"The Government of Venezuela is directly responsible for their safety and will be held responsible if anything happens to them".

Todd Robinson, the chargé d'affaires at the U.S. embassy, went to the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry for information, the embassy tweeted: "No response from the government". "No response from the government".

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