It is about Matthew Jhon Heath, who along with seven Venezuelans, sought to “destabilize” the government, according to the attorney general.
An American “spy”, in addition to seven Venezuelans arrested, including a military man, will be charged with “terrorism” after being linked to a failed attack against oil facilities, announced the attorney general of Venezuela, Tarek William Saab.
“All Venezuelan citizens will be charged with the crimes of treason, terrorism, illicit arms trafficking and association, while the United States citizen will be charged with the crimes of terrorism, illicit arms trafficking and association [para delinquir]”Saab said in remarks broadcast on government television following the arrests made between Friday and the weekend.
The prosecutor indicated that with the arrest of the American, whom he identified as Matthew Jhon Heath, and his Venezuelan “accomplices”, has “managed to neutralize an action” that sought to generate “destabilization” and “attack the oil industry and the national electricity system.”
On Twitter, Saab stated that “Matthew Jhon Heath belonged to the mercenary contractor MVM, fulfilling mission in Iraq from 2006 to 2016 three months per year, “where he worked” as a communications operator at the CIA’s Secret Base. “
The capture of the “American spy” It was announced on September 11 by Socialist President Nicolás Maduro, who did not reveal his identity at the time.
Maduro assured that Heath’s arrest occurred near the gigantic center refiner of Paraguaná (Falcón state, northwest), currently practically paralyzed, according to oil unions.
Two days before the arrest, the authorities “discovered and disassembled” a “plan to cause an explosion” at the El Palito refinery, the closest to Caracas located in Carabobo state (center), the president said.
Arrests coincide with a chronic fuel shortage, aggravated during the covid-19 pandemic. Venezuela, the country with the largest crude reserves in the world, went from being an exporter to importing fuel to key allies such as Iran.
The production of the former oil power is in free fall: from 3.2 million barrels per day (bd) just over a decade ago it went down to less than 400,000 bd today.
Experts attribute the collapse to failed policies, lack of investment and corruption, while Caracas blamed them on Washington’s financial sanctions including an oil embargo valid since April 2019.
Last August, Americans Luke Alexander Denman and Airan Berry were sentenced to 20 years in prison in Venezuela, accused of terrorism, among other crimes, for a failed armed incursion into the Caribbean country last May.
The Venezuelan prosecutor also said that the alleged spy planned actions against military posts of the states of Zulia – bordering Colombia, and one of the regions most affected by the crisis that Venezuela is going through – and Falcón.
Last Friday, Maduro reported the arrest in the state of Falcón of an “American spy”, who carried “heavy weaponry” and “specialized”.
Saab said that the arrest occurred on the highway that connects the states of Falcón and Zulia, when Heat was occupying a vehicle along with three other people, including the officer of the Venezuelan Armed Forces Darwin Urdaneta.
In the arrest, the Venezuelan authorities seized a grenade launcher, a submachine gun, suspected explosive material (C4) and dollars in cash, the amount of which was not determined.
In addition, a satellite phone was found and “a coin” which, Saab said, served to link Heat to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).