US senator meets with Venezuelan president, jailed Utah man

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An influential U.S. senator has pressed for fair elections and the release of a jailed American during his private meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, told The Associated Press on Saturday that he urged Maduro to uphold democratic processes ahead of Venezuela's upcoming presidential election.

He also said his trip included a visit with Joshua Holt, who has been jailed in Caracas for nearly two years on what the U.S. considers trumped-up weapons charges.

Durbin's visit comes as the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump weighs an embargo on Venezuela's oil shipments. That would accompany sanctions already imposed on dozens of top officials, including Maduro.

Venezuelan officials did not respond to a request for comment.