[News] CIA Contractor Accused of Terrorism in Venezuela who Claims he was on a Simple Boating Holiday
news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 10 10:40:18 EST 2021
The Curious Case of ‘Han Solo’, a CIA Contractor Accused of Terrorism
in Venezuela who Claims he was on a Simple Boating Holiday
Mar 7, 2021.- This week, from the disturbing CIA operations file, comes
the case of Matthew John Heath, an American and former Marine accused of
sabotage, terrorism, trafficking illegal weapons and conspiracy.
You could be forgiven for thinking that an ex-Marine going on trial for
terrorism charges in Venezuela might meet with the sort of US media
coverage that the Amanda Knox story attained, but the start of Heath’s
trial has warranted barely a whisper.
Heath was arrested last September alongside six Venezuelans, including
some military personnel. The gang were apparently planning attacks on
oil refineries, a major bridge and possibly military installations, and
were caught at a roadblock with bricks of American currency, high
explosives, a satellite phone and a grenade launcher.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has accused Heath of being a spy and
terrorist working for the US government, while his family maintains his
innocence. One of several letters smuggled
of prison and sent to Heath’s relatives reads, /“Don’t WORRY! Han Solo
always wins!”/ His family have opined that he was either simply an
American in the wrong place at the wrong time, or that the evidence was
planted in order to frame him.
*Seeking leverage or deafening silence?*
So, what are we to make of this? Sean McFate of Georgetown
/“A soldier like Heath, whether or not he’s guilty, is very attractive
to authoritarian leaders like Maduro seeking leverage with the US.” /
But the US government has had little or no contact with Heath, hasn’t
moved to negotiate his release, and there is no sign of Maduro using
‘Han Solo’ as leverage, either with the Trump administration or with the
new Biden White House.
Instead, the deafening silence of US officials and major media in
response to Heath going on trial suggests that they want to keep a lid
on the situation. This is likely due to the implication that this
self-styled pilot of the Millennium Falcon was working as part of an
ongoing disruption campaign being waged against Venezuela by the CIA.
Investigative journalist Alan Macleod pursued this angle in a
noting Heath’s widely reported background working not just for Marine
Corps intelligence but also for the CIA, before he joined MVM – an
intelligence services firm who contract almost exclusively for the US
RELATED CONTENT: Matthew Heath Part of Covert Terrorist Operations in
Macleod’s article highlights, /“Although MVM is technically a private
company, it was founded by three former Secret Service agents and
continues to work closely with Washington… The only clients listed on
its website <https://www.mvminc.com/our-services/> are American
government agencies. “Need a secret agent?” begins its description of
*The Bay of Piglets: Recycling the Cuba playbook*
In May 2020, two former Green Berets led an amphibious assault on
Venezuela with the aim of storming the presidential palace
Guaido – the US’s preferred puppet leader of the country – as the new
president. As Macleod points out, this event was quickly dubbed the ‘Bay
of Piglets’ – a reference to the CIA botched coup attempt against the
Castro government in Cuba in 1961.
In an interview with RT, he added, /“That this could occur without at
least the knowledge of the State Department seems unlikely, at best.”/
Following the Bay of Pigs, the CIA embarked on an extensive program of
black operations designed to destabilise the Castro government. One memo
titled ‘Possible Actions to Provoke, Harass or Disrupt Cuba’, details a
string of ideas including industrial and military sabotage, economic
warfare, and spreading misinformation and disinformation.
Operations were carried out to /“create unrest and dissension among the
Cuban people” /and to encourage the view that Castro’s /“value to the
revolutionary cause has diminished to the point that plans are being
made for his removal.”/ Plans were even made, under the codename
Operation Dirty Trick <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuUoDR-VTu8>, so
that if the first manned spaceflight were to fail, they would
manufacture evidence to /“provide irrevocable proof… that the fault lies
with the Communists.”/
Fast forward to today, and it appears that the CIA have simply recycled
their 60s playbook and used it as a manual for targeting the Venezuelan
government and people. In between regular failed coup attempts, the US
government is deploying regular economic warfare, sabotage and
disinformation tactics to try to erode domestic support for Maduro and
‘soften’ the country’s resistance to the corporate empire.
Macleod summarised, /“For two decades now, there has not been a day that
has gone by that the US government was not working in some way to
overthrow the government of Venezuela. They have tried organizing coups
and protest movements as well as longer term strategies like funding
political and social organizations, as well as levying sanctions on the
country. There have also been many mysterious incidents in Venezuela
that the government alleges were the work of unknown saboteurs.”/
RELATED CONTENT: Who is the US Mercenary John Matthew Heath and What
About MVM Inc.?
*A blank space in a book*
If Heath, a.k.a. ‘Han Solo’, was indeed working as part of a CIA black
operation, which seems likely given the evidence compiled by MacLeod and
the general pattern of events in Venezuela in recent years, then he is
probably a NOC – a non-official cover operative.
As outlined by Al Pacino’s character in the film ‘The Recruit’ – which
was originally written by the CIA’s Hollywood liaison – most CIA
officers working out of embassies around the world enjoy official cover
and diplomatic immunity, but some become NOCs.
Pacino’s character says: /“The NOC is the truest practitioner of
espionage – always out there, always alone, unprotected. If you are
caught, you will most likely be tortured, shot, and/or hanged. And
here’s the best part – no one will ever hear about it. You will become a
star on a wall, a blank space in a book.”/
Macleod commented on the increased contracting out of NOC activities,
saying, /“Much of Washington’s actual dirty work has been outsourced to
third parties, however, through organizations like USAID (United States
Agency for International Development) and the NED (National Endowment
Back in the bad old days in Cuba, NOCs and other disposable assets came
in the form of Cuban exiles and mafia lieutenants, but today, proxy war
has been corporatised and NOCs work for three letter abbreviations like
MVM, blowing up bridges and firing grenades at oil refiners. Or at
least, trying to.
*The world’s weirdest holiday?*
The CIA has remained predictably silent about Heath, while the State
Department’s only comment on the case came in the form of a tweet by a
spokesman asking for a fair trial.
Neither the Trump nor Biden White Houses have had anything to say about
Heath, suggesting that there is an official policy of not commenting on
this politically controversial case.
If Heath is, as he claims, an innocent civilian with a military record
and a penchant for ‘Star Wars’, who went to Venezuela during a global
pandemic to gain <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNyZy1jXNqc>/“more
boating experience,”/ then the State Department would be advocating for
him. If this were the travesty of justice that Heath will no doubt make
out it is when the trial moves to the defence phase, then the US media
should be screaming blue murder.
Instead, the American government and major media response to this
innocent man on the world’s weirdest holiday has been to politely ignore
him, as though getting caught with high explosives, surveillance photos
and machine guns is regular behaviour for Americans on nautical vacations.
*Han Solo: A Matthew Heath story*
As Joshua Goodman, an American journalist, observed
/“Heath’s reputation for discretion, background in signals intelligence
for the Marines and past work as a US government contractor in Iraq and
Afghanistan seemed straight out of a Tom Clancy novel.” /
The Clancy parallels are apt, especially given the latest adaptation of
his work – Amazon’s ‘Jack Ryan’ – focused its entire second season on
glamourising an off-the-books CIA coup against the Venezuelan
government, including storming the presidential palace. The show, which
is supported by both <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HHE2JTNwsE> the
CIA and the Pentagon, went to great efforts to project Venezuela back
into the public consciousness as a desperate threat to US national
security and in need of extreme prejudice.
Macleod commented, /“Unfortunately, many of the plot lines of shows like
Jack Ryan have a tendency to come true. This is because the writers are
in close contact with government agents who help them craft realistic
scenarios for their plots based on actual events or plans.”/
Despite this, I wouldn’t expect ‘Han Solo: A Matthew Heath Story’ to be
coming to a theatre near you anytime soon.
/Featured image: © Getty Images / Konstantin Trubavin/
by Tom Secker
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