Venezuela expels US filmmaker accused of espionage

Caracas, June 6 (IANS/EFE) The Venezuelan government has expelled a US independent filmmaker who was arrested in April and accused of training Venezuelan students in how to stage acts of violence.

“The gringo Timothy Hallet Tracy, captured committing espionage in our country, has been expelled from the national territory,” Venezuelan Interior Minister Miguel Torres said Wednesday on Twitter.

The minister offered no further details regarding the legal situation in which Tracy found himself or whether his expulsion means that no evidence of any crime was found.

Tracy’s attorney in Venezuela, Daniel Rosales, told Globovision that his client took a flight to Miami Wednesday.

Prosecutors decided to shelve the case due to lack of evidence, Rosales said.

The expulsion came on the same day that a meeting is scheduled between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua during the General Assembly of the Organization of American States in Guatemala.

Torres announced Tracy’s capture amid the unrest that followed the April 14 special election to choose a successor to leftist President Hugo Chavez, who died March 5 after a long battle with cancer.

Henrique Capriles, who lost to Chavez last October, said he would not recognize the narrow victory of ruling-party candidate Nicolas Maduro until the CNE electoral council carried out a full audit of the results.

That audit is now in progress, but Capriles is boycotting the process.

Post-election violence led to the deaths of 11 people, most of them Maduro supporters.

Tracy’s family said he was in Venezuela to film a documentary and was arrested at the Caracas international airport when he was preparing to leave the country.

Since the special election, the Venezuelan government has claimed that agents have been infiltrated into the country from Colombia and El Salvador with the aim of carrying out destabilizing activities.



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