Timothy Tracy, an American filmmaker, is being held in Venezuelan custody for 45 days while he awaits trial for allegedly subversive activity aimed at overthrowing the Maduro government and “starting a civil war.” The filmmaker was in Venezuela filming the post-election violence that has rocked the South American country in recent weeks leading to nine […]
Timothy Tracy, an American filmmaker, is being held in Venezuelan custody for 45 days while he awaits trial for allegedly subversive activity aimed at overthrowing the Maduro government and “starting a civil war.” The filmmaker was in Venezuela filming the post-election violence that has rocked the South American country in recent weeks leading to nine civilian deaths and more than 100 injuries.
Venezuelan Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez said Thursday that the 35-year-old had training as a spy and was part of a conspiracy to set off a civil war in the country. Tracy, who had been filming both supporters of president-elect Nicolas Maduro and opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, is alleged to have directed funds to opposition groups in violation of his international election observer accreditation.
The government is wary of a coup following the death of Hugo Chavez, the late socialist president who led the country for 14 years from 1999 until his death in early 2013. The U.S. and Spain backed a failed coup attempt by elements of the Venezuelan military against Chavez in April 2002. Since that time, Venezuelan authorities have become increasingly wary of similar U.S.-backed attempts to bring down socialist governments.
Speaking to Globovision TV, Tracy’s lawyer Gloria Stifano said that her client was in Venezuela filming a project highlighting a divided country after the April 14 presidential election, adding that her client’s films “have nothing to do with state security.” Tracy’s family, his fans and the U.S. government also maintain his innocence.
Indeed, the divided country Tracy sought to document stems from election results earlier this month, which showed a narrow but clear victory for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) candidate Nicolas Maduro, who captured 7,563,747 votes, or 50.75 percent of the vote — beating challenger Henrique Capriles’ 7,298,491 votes, at 48.97 percent.
Despite Capriles claiming “3,200 voting irregularities,” Venezuelan elections have been deemed among the most free, transparent and democratic in the world.
“I have been in different countries for electoral processes and I think that this is by far the best system I have ever known,” said Mexican Senator Yeidckol Polevnsky in a statement following the presidential elections. “It is a very simple system, very secure, and I hope they export this process to other countries … because it eliminates the possibility of fraud.”
Polevnsky was one of 200 international election observers on hand to monitor the presidential elections earlier this month.
Despite evidence from government sources and from the international community supporting the validity of the election results, Capriles has vowed to carry on the fight for an entirely new election.
“This is a fight for the truth,” Capriles said. “This fight is not over. We are going to do everything in our power to reveal it. Mr. Maduro, if you were illegitimate before, now you definitely are!”