Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro claims that authorities captured US citizens in an attempted invasion of the country.
US and Venezuelan citizens were captured in what Venezuela alleges to be a foreign-backed invasion. Dictator Nicolas Maduro, discussing the attack, said, “They were playing Rambo. They were playing hero!” He added that Venezuelan authorities knew of the plot before it took place.
Maduro blames the United States and Colombian governments for orchestrating the attack. He claims that the failed invasion is part of a larger pattern of attempted regime change by the US and its allies in Latin America. The Venezuelan leader also says two of the captured men are US citizens. He waved their passports in a press conference as confirmation of their nationality.
He also blames Juan Guiado for the plot. About one year ago, Guaido failed to overthrow the dictator in an attempted coup. Maduro’s mandate has become increasingly fragile as his socialist economy steadily fails. Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country, entering neighboring states like Colombia and Brazil, as well as more far-flung countries like the US and Spain.
The United States has denied all involvement in the attempted invasion. The State Department reported on Tuesday that it was “making efforts to learn more”, but rebuffed much of Maduro’s statements, calling his claims a “major disinformation campaign.” Guaido and the main Venezuelan opposition also deny any involvement.
For their part, the Colombian Foreign Ministry said, “These accusations try to hide the real problems the Venezuelan people face, following a usual strategy from this illegitimate regime to look for distractions abroad in times of domestic crisis,”
— Benjamin Hall (@BenjaminHallFNC) May 5, 2020
The apparent leader of the plot was former US Green Beret Jordan Goudreau. Goudreau stated that the purpose of the mission was to detain Maduro and liberate Venezuela.
As reported by Fox News, Goudreau had been coordinating the operation with a retired Venezuelan army general to train dozens of Venezuelan military deserters. The plan was to train the deserters in neighboring Colombia. The country is now home to over a million Venezuelans. Also, the majority of these Venezuelans are economic or political refugees of the Maduro Regime.
Ultimately, the operation was a failure. The boats departed from a Colombia, landing in Venezuela and being captured shortly thereafter. Goudreau, along with the Colombian and US government, asserts that the invasion force did not have Colombian or US backing.
The Strange Case of Jordan Goudreau
Invasion mastermind Jordan Goudreau is emerging as a bizarre figure in this story. The 43-year old former Green Beret is the head of private security form Silvercorp. The firm, according to its website and social media, has provided security for Trump rallies in the past. Goudreau then allegedly stuck to the idea of orchestrating a Venezuelan coup after meeting with Trump’s longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller. However, the White House says that Mr. Schiller never met with Goudreau again after the meeting, going so far as to cut off all contact.
While Goudreau absolves the White House of all involvement in coups, he does claim that the attempted invasion was a joint effort with leader-in-exile Juan Guaido. Mr. Guaido is recognized as the rightful leader of Venezuela, in several countries, including the United States, Colombia, and much of Europe. Guaido, however, denies this claim.
The details of this coups, and the truth of its orchestration, will come to light in the days and weeks to come. For now, more questions than answers remain.
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