Venezuelan army foils coup attempt led by former Green Beret and two Special Forces operators allegedly, ‘backed by shadowy US billionaires’ – intent on assassinating President Maduro with ‘300 hungry, untrained men’
President Nicolás Maduro Sunday showcased Venezuelan army foiling ‘amateur’ coup attempt led by former US Green Beret and two ex-Special Forces operatives
Luke Denman, 34, and Airan Berry, 41, were identified by Maduro in a press conference as he showed their passports and other forms of identification
Maduro has accused the Trump administration, Colombia’s govt and Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, of being behind the foiled coup
All have denied involvement in the botched attack, with President Trump declaring on Tuesday, ‘it has nothing to do with our government,’ of the failed plot
The Trump has not hidden the desire to displace Maduro’s socialist regime while lending support to Guaidó
In March the DEA indicted Maduro as a narco-trafficker and offering a $15 million reward for his arrest
Ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau, 43, has claimed responsibility and said its aim was to capture Maduro
Goudreau a former associate of Keith Schiller, Donald Trump’s bodyguard was planning a coup by training 300 soldiers in Colombia, reports say
Schiller accompanied Goudreau to a meeting last May to discuss security with representatives of Guaidó
A shadowy group of US billionaires led by Roen Kraft promised support for the ‘private coup’ and also met with Schiller and Goudreau
Kraft allegedly lured prospective donors with the promise of preferential access to negotiate deals in the energy and mining sectors with an eventual Guaidó government
I have ‘no relationship nor responsibility for any actions’ taken by Goudreau, said Guaidó has insisting President Maduro is using the incident as a distraction from domestic unrest and a shattered economy
Captured soldiers of fortune: Airan Berry [left], and Luke Denman [right], both former U.S. special forces soldiers, were identified by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro during a press conference on Monday. The men were seen paraded along with other coup plotters in video published online
Two U.S. former special forces soldiers were arrested in Venezuela was dramatically caught on video as their ‘plot to assassinate [Venezuela] President Nicolás Maduro’ was foiled.
Eight male suspects were arrested Monday in Chuao, a village on the northern coast of the state of Aragua, including two Americans.
The Venezuelan govt announced the individuals were part of a foiled plan to remove President Maduro.
The whole arrest saga was caught on tape and released by the government. The footage shows Luke Denman, 34, and Airan Berry, 41, being led from a fishing boat alongside six Venezuelan mercenaries and being forced to lie on the ground at gunpoint.
Footage purports to show ‘mercenaries’ surrendering as Venezuelan authorities arrest mercenaries behind ‘foiled coup’
The botched coup d’é·tat reportedly, was coordinated by 43-year-old former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau, who claims the objective was to capture Maduro.
Goudreau claims to have built a force of 300 men, reportedly backed by US billionaires.
President Maduro called the arrested men ‘terrorist mercenaries’, blaming the attacks on the Trump administration, and his challenger in the last presidential elections, Venezuela’s opposition leader Guaidó and neighboring Colombia.
All of which have denied involvement. The U.S. has backed Guaidó as the country’s leader.
Responding to the accusations leveled by the Maduro administration on Tuesday, President Donald Trump denied any involvement by the U.S. government.
‘We’ll find out. We just heard about it,’ Trump said when asked about the incident and the Americans’ arrests.
‘It has nothing to do with [US], government.’
Ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau addresses arrested US mercenaries: Admitted organizer of the botched coup d’é·tat, former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau, [photo], said the objective was to capture Nicolás Maduro. Goudreau claims his group is backed by ‘shadowy US based billionaires’
The group of ‘mercenaries’ were taken from the fishing boat at gunpoint and forced to lie on the ground during the arrest. The two Americans, Berry and Denman, are seen here [circled], with six Venezuelans during the arrest
Two former U.S. special forces members arrested in Venezuela Monday are seen being taken into custody in a new video following a foiled plot to capture the Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, the socialist leader has claimed.
Former US Special Forces operatives turned mercenaries, Luke Denman [left] and Airan Berry [right] were paraded after failed attempt ‘to kill’ Venezuela’s president in a failed raid, President Maduro announced Monday
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro used a press conference on Monday to display the equipment allegedly, seized by Venezuelan armed forces after capturing the band of ‘mercenaries’ who participated in the foiled coup attempt. He has accused the his opposition for the alleged coup, backed by neighboring Colombia and the Trump administration
Still more of the array of military equipment [photo], captured from the insurrection group during the foiled attack
More of the equipment used by the group of ‘mercenaries’ aiming to kill Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro – The president blamed the attacks on the Trump administration, Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, and neighbors Colombia
Caught out: Eight suspects were arrested Monday in Chuao, a village on the northern coast of the state of Aragua, including two Americans. The Venezuelan govt announced Monday that the individuals were part of a foiled plan to remove Socialist President Maduro – who has been embroiled in a stand-off with the Trump administration
‘The United States government is fully and completely involved in this defeated raid,’ Maduro said, praising members of a fishing village for cornering one group in the sweep netting the ‘professional American mercenaries.’
The United States has led a campaign to oust Maduro, increasing pressure in recent weeks by indicting the socialist leader as a narco-trafficker and offering a $15 million reward for his arrest.
Speaking about the two U.S. citizens that have been captured, he said: ‘They were playing Rambo. They were playing hero,’ adding that Venezuelan authorities had caught wind of the plot before its execution.
The passports of Luke Denman, 34, and Airan Berry, 41, were displayed by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in a press conference Monday in which he said the two former U.S. soldiers were arrested among a group of ‘mercenaries’ he claims were attempting to assassinate him. He has accused the two Americans of ‘playing hero’
Alleged coup mastermind, Jordan Goudreau is seem [circled], working security at a Donald Trump campaign rally in October 2018
Maduro ally and Attorney General Tarek William Saab said that in total they’ve arrested 114 people suspected in the attempted attack and they are on the hunt of 92 others.
According to his social media accounts, Airan Berry served as a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. military from 1996 and 2013. He is listed as having attended school in Texas. President Maduro went further to accuse Florida-based ex-Green Beret Goudreau of leading the incursion ‘with terrorist mercenaries trained in Colombia to assault Venezuela and try to kill me’, during Monday’s press conference.
Maduro’s allegations appeared to mirror earlier statements made by Goudreau on Monday that he was working with the two men in a mission intended to detain Maduro and ‘liberate’ Venezuela.
It has been reported that Goudreau is a former associate of Keith Schiller, Donald Trump’s bodyguard.
Schiller accompanied Goudreau to a meeting last May to discuss security with representatives of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
Schiller however, claims he cut contact with Goudreau.
The fishing boat used by American ‘mercenaries,’ Luke Denman and Airan Berry as they attempted to land in Venezuela. President Maduro showed images of the fishing boats the alleged attackers during Monday’s press conference
Mastermind: Former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau [center] said earlier on Monday that he was working with the two men on a mission intending to detain Maduro and ‘liberate’ Venezuela. Goudreau has claimed responsibility for the operation with US based backing
US Special Forces operative, Airan Berry served as a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. military from 1996 and 2013. He is listed as having attended school in Texas.
It has been reported that a shadowy group of US billionaires led by Roen Kraft, an eccentric descendant of the cheese-making family, promised support for the ‘private coup’ and also met with Schiller and Goudreau.
Kraft allegedly lured prospective donors with the promise of preferential access to negotiate deals in the energy and mining sectors with an eventual Guaidó government, one of the businessmen told AP.
The source provided a two-page, unsigned draft memorandum for a six-figure commitment he said was sent by Kraft in October in which he represents himself as the ‘prime contractor’ of Venezuela.
Before dawn on Sunday, officials say the first attack started on a beach near Venezuela’s port city of La Guaira, when security forces made the first two arrests and killed eight others attempting to make a landing by speedboats.
Luke Denman, 34, was arrested in Venezuela on Monday, along with Airan Berry, President Maduro said showing off their IDs
Jordan Goudreau allegedly, was introduced to Keith Schiller [left], President Donald Trump’s longtime bodyguard, through a friend who works in private security. Schiller has said that he since cut ties with Goudreau
According to Goudreau, the two Americans arrested Monday served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with him in the U.S. military.
They were part of this alleged mission in Venezuela called ‘Operation Gideon.’ The aim was to capture Maduro, Goudreau said.
Despite a U.S.-led campaign to oust him, Maduro still controls all levers of power. In the most recent incident, the US Justice Department indicted Maduro as a drug trafficker and offered a $15 million reward for his arrest.
Sunday’s raid came after an AP report on Friday that revealed how Goudreau was planning a coup by training 300 soldiers in Colombia.
Ephraim Mattos, a former US Navy SEAL who trained some of the would-be liberation army in tactical medicine, warned it was doomed to failure.
‘You’re not going to take out Maduro with 300 hungry, untrained men,’ he said.
Venezuela has been in a deepening political and economic crisis under Maduro’s rule. Crumbling public services such as running water, electricity and medical care have driven nearly 5 million to migrate.
Amature hour: Maduro displayed walkie-talkies, passports, combat vests, credit cards and other military equipment captured from the coup plotters
Venezuela and the United States broke diplomatic ties last year amid heightened tensions, so there is no U.S. embassy in Caracas and officials from the U.S. State Department have not responded to the development.
A seemingly bemused Goudreau’ stated ‘I’ve tried to engage everybody I know at every level,’ Goudreau said of the attempt to help his detained colleagues.
‘Nobody’s returning my calls. It’s a nightmare.’
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó on Monday denied having anything to do with Goudreau
Guaidó said in a statement that he has ‘no relationship nor responsibility for any actions’ taken by Goudreau.
However, in his account of the adventure, which at times seemed contradictory Goudreau says he was plotting a rebellion for months while claiming not to have received a single penny.
But, he repeatedly mentions that Guaidó had a contract with Silvercorp USA, the war veteran’s Florida-based security company, though he said he was paid only a tiny share of the amount agreed upon.
Venezuelan security forces escort one of eight individuals arrested Monday in Chuao, a village on the northern coast of the state of Aragua. The group group of armed men landed in the port city of La Guaira, Venezuela on Sunday, May 3, 2020, authorities claim
Goudreau has said he reached an agreement with the U.S.-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó to overthrow Maduro, which Guaidó has denied. The opposition leader said he had nothing to do with Sunday’s raid.
Goudreau says Guaidó never fulfilled the agreement, but the former Green Beret pushed ahead with an underfunded operation with just 60 fighters, including the two U.S. veterans.
He said he last communicated with Denman and Berry when they were adrift in a boat ‘hugging’ the Caribbean coast of Venezuela. They were still in their boat following an initial confrontation with the Venezuelan Navy early Sunday, he said.
‘They were running dangerously low on fuel,’ Goudreau said. ‘If they had gone onto landfall, they would have gone to a safe house.’
Goudreau said the two were waiting for a boat on the Caribbean island of Aruba with emergency fuel to help extract them.
Denying any involvement in the foiled coup attempt, opposition leader Juan Guaidó [photo], described the incident as govt attempting to distract from recent violent events including a deadly prison riot on Friday and a bloody Caracas gang battle on Saturday night
Protesters and relatives of prison inmates in Venezuela gather outside Los Llanos penitentiary in Caracas, after a riot erupted inside the prison leaving dozens of dead
Ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau, 43, on retiring in 2016, he worked as a private security contractor in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
In 2018, he set up Silvercorp USA, a private security firm, near his home on Florida’s Space Coast to embed counter-terror agents in schools disguised as teachers.
He is said to live in Cocoa Beach, Florida, with his dog Finn.
According to the website, Silvercorp has planned and led International security teams for the President of the United States as well as the Secretary of Defense.
On Monday Venezuelan state TV showed showed images of several unidentified men handcuffed and lying prone in a street. One video clip showed authorities handling a shirtless man in handcuffs, who was later identified as a National Guardsman Captain Antonio Sequea, who participated in a barracks revolt against Maduro a year ago. Goudreau has admitted that Sequea was a commander working with him in recent days on the ground in Venezuela.
Maduro ally and Attorney General Tarek William Saab [photo], announced the arrest of 114 people suspected in the attempted coup. Authorities are on the hunt of 92 others, he said
Venezuela’s Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, announced said that in total they’ve the arrest of 114 people suspected in the attempted attack. Security forces are on the hunt of 92 others, he added.
Goudreau claims to have helped organize the seaborne raid from Colombia, while maintaining that the operation had received no aid from Guaidó or either of the U.S. or Colombian governments.
Opposition politicians and U.S. authorities issued statements suggesting Maduro’s allies had fabricated the assault to draw attention away from the country’s problems.
Goudreau said by telephone earlier Monday that 52 other fighters had infiltrated Venezuelan territory and were in the first stage of a mission to recruit members of the security forces to join their cause.
Goudreau reportedly had been working with a retired Venezuelan army general, Cliver Alcalá, who now faces U.S. narcotics charges, to train dozens of deserters from Venezuela’s security forces at secret camps inside neighboring Colombia. The goal was to mount a cross-border raid that would end in Maduro’s arrest.
Both Colombia and the United States have repeatedly denied previous Venezuelan allegations of backing military plots against the socialist government.
‘We have little reason to believe anything that comes out of the former regime,’ said a spokesperson with the State Department Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, speaking Sunday on condition of anonymity, referring to Maduro’s government.
‘The Maduro regime has been consistent in its use of misinformation in order to shift focus from its mismanagement of Venezuela.’
Incidentally, Alcalá, now faces U.S. narcotics charges.
Colombia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry also rejected the claims made by what it called ‘Maduro’s dictatorial regime.’
Opposition leader Juan Guaido said the government was seeking to distract from recent violent events including a deadly prison riot on Friday and bloody Caracas gang battle on Saturday night.
‘The regime is seeking to divert attention with a supposed incident in La Guaira plagued with inconsistencies, doubts and contradictions,’ Guaidó’s press team said in a statement.
Venezuela has been in a deepening political and economic crisis in recent years under Maduro’s rule. Crumbling public services such as running water, electricity and medical care has driven nearly 5 million to migrate.
Inside sources claim planning for the attack began after an April 30, 2019 barracks revolt by a cadre of soldiers who swore loyalty to Maduro’s would-be replacement, and the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, [photo] – recognized by the US and 60 other nations as Venezuela’s rightful leader
Ratcheting the pressure, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency issued a wanted poster for Nicolas Maduro with a reward of up to $15 million for information leading to the President’s arrest in March
A coalition of nearly 60 nations backs opposition leader Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, saying Maduro’s 2018 election was a sham because the most popular opposition candidates were banned from running.
The United States has led a campaign to oust Maduro, increasing pressure in recent weeks by indicting the socialist leader as a narco-trafficker and offering a $15 million reward for his arrest.
The U.S. also has increased stiff sanctions, cutting off Venezuela’s oil sector to choke Maduro from a key source of hard cash.
Iván Simonovis, a former high-ranking Venezuelan police official who now advises opposition leaders on intelligence strategy from Washington, speculated on Twitter that there might have been a clash between security forces on Sunday and suggested Maduro’s government created the story of a plot to justify ‘repression against the interim government and any Venezuelan who opposes the dictatorship.’
But in addition to U.S. economic and diplomatic pressure, Maduro’s government has faced several small-scale military threats, including an attempt to assassinate Maduro with a drone and Guaidó’s call for a military uprising, which was joined by few soldiers.
Goudreau reportedly relied on the odd choice of former Venezuelan military officer Cliver Alcalá [photo], ringleader of the Venezuelan military deserters, despite the fact that the retired major general in 2011, was sanctioned by the US for allegedly supplying FARC guerrillas in Colombia with surface-to-air missiles in exchange for cocaine
Maduro has overseen a six-year economic crisis that has left many citizens unable to obtain basic food and medicine and forced nearly five million people to emigrate.
The United States and dozens of other countries disavowed Maduro after his disputed 2018 election, which they say was rigged.
They instead recognize Guaidó, who is head of the country’s legislature. Still, Maduro retains the backing of the country’s armed forces as well as countries including China and Russia, which have harshly criticized the U.S. sanctions.
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