WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is sticking to its economic sanctions against Venezuela, despite the release of a US citizen in Caracas on Saturday, the US vice president said in an effort to facilitate a dialogue with Washington.
After Maduro's victory, Trump stressed sanctions against Venezuela. Maduro responded by giving the top officials of the US diplomatic mission 48 hours to leave the country, accusing them of conspiring against his government.
"He is very happy that Josh Holt returns to his home with his family ... sanctions remain until democracy returns to Venezuela," Pens said in a tweet on Twitter.
Earlier on Saturday, Caracas announced the release of 25-year-old Joshua Holt and his wife, Thamara Caleno, who have been held for nearly two years in Venezuela and arrived in Washington on Saturday.
Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said President Nicolas Maduro ordered their release as a "gesture" aimed at making room for a dialogue between Caracas and Washington.
Hulte, a Mormon evangelist, traveled to Venezuela in June 2016 to marry caleno, whom she met online, but after their marriage they were arrested by the Venezuelan authorities for possession of weapons and planning to destabilize Maduro's government.
Holt's release follows the visit by US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob corker to Caracas, where he met Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Maduro seeks to ease the tensions, fueled by a second presidential term in the May 20 election, boycotting most of the opposition parties, which the United States, the European Union, Canada and some 12 countries in Latin America have deemed illegal.