No access to man held in Venezuela 'nightmare'
By The Associated Press
Published: Monday, May 6, 2013, 9:45 p.m.
CARACAS — U.S. diplomats have been given no access to a California man held in Venezuela for nearly two weeks in what his family on Monday called a “nightmare” that unfolded because he was accused of being a spy fomenting postelection unrest.
The family of Timothy Tracy, 35, told The Associated Press in a statement that “we hope that he is granted consular access very soon.”
The State Department confirmed that diplomats have not been allowed to see Tracy, who is held by the Venezuelan intelligence service. It is standard practice for countries holding foreign citizens to allow diplomats to see them to confirm that they are being treated humanely, and help them negotiate the local court system.
Tracy's family says he is a filmmaker who had been making a documentary about Venezuelan politics for six months. Tracy's friends said he had been briefly detained by Venezuelan authorities twice before but decided to continue his work.
“We have been living in a nightmare,” the family said in the emailed statement. “We have been in communication with Timmy and have been assured that he is being treated well.”
Venezuelan officials allege Tracy was working on behalf of U.S. intelligence and paid young protesters to participate in violent demonstrations against the ruling party, which narrowly won the April 14 presidential election. The opposition is contesting the results because it says President Nicolas Maduro won by fraud.
President Obama has said that the accusations against Tracy are “ridiculous.”
Tensions have been running high in Venezuela since the election.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.