US Marine Corps veteran Matthew Heath was arrested and taken to jail in Venezuela in September, 2020.
According to the socialist dictatorship of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, Heath is an American spy who was loaded with weapons and equipment to try to overthrow the government.
According to Heath’s family he’s been framed and is now in jail being tortured and kept in isolation for long amounts of time in a very small cell.
The family and relatives of Heath are now pleading with the Biden Administration and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to do something about the situation and get Heath out of Venezuela and back to safety.
The focus is currently on an upcoming trial that the 39-year-old US veteran has in Venezuela which is expected to be a show trial and any way in which the Biden Administration can exert diplomatic pressure to get him a fair trial or a clearing of charges.
Was Heath Working for the CIA?
Heath is from Knoxville, Tennessee and has been locked up in Venezuela since last September when the Maduro regime says they caught him trying to blow up oil refineries and spread disorder to bring down their government.
Heath and his lawyers deny the charges, saying the weapons and explosives were planted on him once he was arrested.
Heath says he was sailing in the region and had been visiting his girlfriend in Colombia when he became trapped in Venezuelan waters and was stuck by the pandemic. It was at this point he was arrested and accused by Maduro of working for President Trump to collapse his government.
Was he really working for US intelligence? It’s possible but it’s also entirely possible that it’s nonsense made up by Maduro in order to blackmail and threaten the US for its sanctions and crackdowns on his violent, corrupt and evil regime.
Heath’s father Robert, meanwhile, said he’s had no word from his son over five months and he wants the Biden Administration to start paying attention and getting some results.
“It’s depressing for us here at home that we aren’t getting that recognition for what’s happened to Matthew and others. We haven’t seen any response to it. I just don’t know what it would take to get that. I don’t know what else for a guy that’s been held and tortured to no end and is going to be tried and found guilty,” Robert Heath said.
Heath does have access to lawyers, although it’s expected they won’t be able to do much for him during the show trial, but he managed to get a note passed along via a lawyer last October from his dad that said “Don’t worry. Han Solo always wins,” in order to boost his morale.
Tennessee Radio Network: The family of Marine veteran Matthew Heath is asking for help from the Biden administration.
Heath was jailed in Venezuela last fall, accused of being a spy for former President Trump.
His family says he's expected back in court soon in South America. pic.twitter.com/IeKDiEDscf
— Libby Cunningham (@LibSCunningham) February 26, 2021
More Efforts to Get Heath Out
In addition to Heath’s dad and family trying to raise his case and contact the US federal government, Congressman Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee has been working with the American Embassy in Colombia to try to work out some kind of deal with Venezuela but so far it’s no dice.
Maduro’s government has been heavily sanctioned for several administrations now and was the target of intense pressure from the Trump Administration who correctly accused it of being involved in drug smuggling, crime and widespread human rights violations.
One possibility is that Maduro will use Heath as a human pawn in trying to pressure Biden to recognize his regime, since the US government currently doesn’t even recognize Maduro as the leader of the country.
This is an early test to see what Biden’s made of. If he gives in to pressure from Maduro he’ll be in a weakened position, but doing nothing is also a very tough call when an American citizen and veteran is being slowly tortured to death in a corrupt hellhole. If Biden launches a secret armed extraction it would also be very risky and could result in many casualties, but at this point it may also be the best option left to show that you don’t ever mess with America.