Prisoners started a riot that was soon taken over by the few inmates who claim to have been imprisoned on political charges, including Daniel Ceballos and Lorent Saleh, reported Eligio Rojas, journalist for Ultimas Noticias.
Activists say inmates have taken control of Venezuela's most notorious political prison - the El Helicoide facility in Caracas - on the eve of a highly controversial presidential election that opponents have denounced as a fraud. He said tear gas and weapons had been fired at detainees but they were holding out to demand freedom.
In videos posted on social media, Venezuelan activists, including a man identified as Sanabria whose face was bruised, pleaded for help. "They say they're doing things, but I'm still here", Holt said. They're outside, they're trying to break in. "They are asking for freedom ... they are asking for health care ... they are asking for human rights. they want the aggression and the torture to stop".
"I've been begging my Government for two years".
The 26-year-old travelled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry a fellow Mormon he met on the internet.
In two brief movies shot on a cellphone and posted Wednesday on his Fb web page, Joshua Holt stated his life was threatened throughout a disturbance by inmates who embody President Nicolas Maduro's prime opponents.
Trujillo declined to discuss how Holt was posting videos on his Facebook page, saying Holt's safety was in jeopardy and he didn't want to release any information that may harm him.
Chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab said he sent a delegation to the prison to speak with a representative of the inmates.
Senator Orrin Hatch has been working with the Trump Administration to bring Holt and his wife home.
Loud voices outside Holt's cell can be heard in both videos. Maduro has said all jailed activists were being held on legitimate charges of violence and subversion.
"I'm calling on the people of America: I need your help to get me out of this place".
"Joshua Holt and other U.S. citizens are in danger".
The US embassy released a photo of Todd Robinson, the top American diplomat in Venezuela, leaving the foreign ministry and saying he had received no information from the Government about the "riot". "The Venezuelan government is directly responsible for their security and we will hold them responsible if anything happens to them", the embassy tweeted in Spanish.