Venezuela charges alleged US spy with terrorism

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Officials in Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government reportedly announced on state TV on Monday that a man accused of being a U.S. spy has been charged with terrorism.

The Guardian reported that state prosecutor Tarek William Saab accused the man identified as Matthew John Heath of trying to “fill the country with blood,” presenting evidence of various weapons obtained by authorities during Heath’s capture. Three Venezuelan citizens were arrested alongside Heath, according to the prosecutor.

“The Venezuelan state has managed to neutralize the plans to attack the oil industry and national electric system,” said Saab, according to The Guardian.

“Everything here could qualifies as a lethal weapon designed to cause harm and to promote assassinations, crimes against the people of Venezuela,” he reportedly continued, adding that Heath was previously employed by a Virginia-based private security firm as a mercenary based in Iraq.

Officials with the National Security Council and State Department did not immediately return requests for comment on Heath’s arrest from The Hill.

Tensions between the U.S. and Maduro’s government have been high for months, with Venezuela’s government previously accusing the U.S. of backing a failed coup attempt involving several former U.S. Green Berets and hundreds of Venezuelan nationals.

The Trump administration has denied any involvement in the failed May effort to oust Maduro, though numerous U.S. officials have expressed support for Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader.

Tags Nicolas Maduro Venezuela

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