US Citizen Arrested in Venezuela in Connection with Destabilization Plans

Venezuelan security forces have arrested a US national in connection with an alleged plot to “violently destabilize the country” following the April elections, Minister for Internal Affairs, Miguel Torres announced yesterday.

By Adam Marshall
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Minister Torres giving his video presentation yesterday (Andrés Pérez / Mpprij)
Minister Torres giving his video presentation yesterday (Andrés Pérez / Mpprij)

Murcia, April 26th 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan security forces have arrested a US national in connection with an alleged plot to “violently destabilize the country” following the April elections, Minister for Internal Affairs, Miguel Torres announced yesterday.

Speaking before the Venezuelan press, Torres presented a series of slides outlining opposition plans to “not recognize” the election results, “generate a spiral of violence” in order “to destabilize and discredit the government", creating the conditions for a “civil war” leading to “foreign intervention”.

Termed by the authorities the “April Connection”, the plot came to the attention of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) at the end of 2012, the minister said.

The detainee was identified as Timothy Hallet Tracy, a 35-year old male from Michigan, USA. Tracy is suspected by the authorities of channeling money to right wing opposition youth groups in the country.

"Hallet started forming very close relationships with the young opponents who are in an operation called 'sovereignty' ... We saw how this man could also infiltrate revolutionary groups to earn their protection, but he was intimately connected with the extreme right”, Torres said.

"Judging from the way this gentleman behaved, we presume that he belongs to some intelligence organization, because he is trained and he knows how to infiltrate, and how to handle sources and security information," Torres continued.

Since his arrest, US media sources have quoted family and friends of Tracy denying that he is a spy. The sources quoted insist that he is a filmmaker who was in Venezuela to shoot a documentary about the “political divide” in the country.

“They don’t have a CIA agent in custody. They don’t have a journalist in custody. They have a kid with a camera,” said Aengus James, a friend and associate of Tracy’s in Hollywood, California. “He does not really know what he’s doing,” he added.

Video Evidence

The minister also presented two videos he said were obtained during investigations into the plot. The first one shows a group of young people talking about money and seemingly referring to their involvement in violent acts.

“To activate Santa Cruz and Miranda we need a billion dollars”, said one of the youngsters, clearly using drugs at the time. “No way... why would you need so much money?” asks another. “Could we have raised four states without the 100 million bolivars?” responds the first rhetorically.

The second video shows Antonio Rivero, a retired army general giving tactical advice to young protesters in Caracas on 15 April.

“They can remove the stones, bottles, sticks from you etc etc...like a shield, the old-fashioned way...but yes, stay cohesive, integrated, united.  Don´t try to disperse... if you disperse, collapse," Rivero is heard saying in the video.

At the end of the video Rivero tells the protesters to “keep everything you do under the directionality of Capriles”.

These revelations come the day after Venezuelan Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Díaz, informed that the violent events which took place on 15 April and 16 April, after the general election, left 9 dead and 78 injured.

In a press conference on Wednesday she explained how the events originated as a result of “irresponsible calls” by some political actors to act against people and institutions in the country.

“On 14 April, the elections to elect the president of the republic were held in Venezuela, and after the governing body (National Electoral Council) issued the results, there were calls made through some media and networks like Twitter and others, by direct and subliminal messages, encouraging citizens to take street actions; hostile actions and contrary to the law, which led a sector of the public to attack another sector of the population," Ortega Diaz recalled.

Today, after rejecting the forthcoming CNE election audit as a “joke”, Capriles called on his supporters to march again on 1 May to “challenge the election” he claims was “stolen”.

Bolivarian Socialist Workers' Central general coordinator Carlos Lopez told media that over half a million Chavistas are expected to march on May Day, and expressed fears that the opposition intends to create violence.