Operation Gideon in Venezuela: US intervention and its potential consequences

Operation Gideon in Venezuela: US intervention and its potential consequences

On May 3, 2020, Venezuelan Special Forces prevented an invasion by militants from Colombia. Attackers approached from the sea using fast boats. Eight of the attackers were killed, others were detained. At least two US citizens were arrested who turned out to be Silvercorp mercenaries and former US special forces agents Luke Denman and Aaron Barry.

On May 3, the founder of the SilverCorp, former “green beret” Jordan Goudreau, took over the operation in Venezuela. He spoke openly about the operation, including on the mercenary group’s Twitter (the account has since been deleted). Initially, Goudreau planned the operation with the Venezuelan opposition led by Juan Guaido, and even signed a contract – but, according to him, the promises were not fulfilled and he decided to act independently.

Whether the operation was the result of an official command from Washington remains in question (there is evidence on both sides). The whole operation appears to be a strange farce, doomed to total failure from the very beginning: bragging about the operation online, video interviews with the participants, the limited number of invaders with modest weapons, and the extremely ambitious goal of capturing the President and overthrowing the “regime”.

Let’s try to figure out who Goudreau and his company actually are, whether the operation is directly related to the US State Department, and, most importantly, what the consequences of the failed intervention will be?

Who is Goudreau?

Goudreau, an American citizen of Canadian descent, first appeared on the Venezuelan stage in February 2019, when he worked as a private security guard at an anti-Maduro concert on the border with Colombia, organized by British billionaire Richard Branson.

He is known for his involvement in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is quite a scandalous character – back in 2012, the Ministry of Defense launched a criminal investigation against Goudreau in connection with the alleged theft and fraud of $62,000.

He founded SilverCorp in 2018 after Parkland school shooting. The firm advertises various services, including assistance to victims of kidnapping and extortion. The company initially provided “anti-terrorist agents” for guarding educational institutions and training teachers and police on how to deal with terrorists. According to the company’s website, Goudreau has organized international security teams for the US president as well as the secretary of defense.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Goudreau provided “private security” in Puerto Rico and appears to have worked as a guard at Trump rallies. A video posted on the Silvercorp website shows that Goudreau attended the Trump Rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 26, 2018. In the US it is normal practice to hire private security companies for major events.

The SilverCorp contract with Guaido

A contract signed in October 2019 between SilverCorp and representatives of the Venezuelan opposition recently came to light. According to the contract, Guaido pledged to pay $213 million to SilverCorp for the operation.

Goudreau had 45 days for force training, equipment procurement and mission readiness. It was planned that the teams would secretly infiltrate Venezuela and form cells that would move inland to secure key oil facilities and strategic buildings.

The plan, described in a 42-page document, contains the smallest tactical details, including weapons and special vehicles. However, there is no explanation of how a small group of invaders could defeat hundreds of thousands of security personnel in the document.

The large document does not have Guido’s signature, allowing the opposition to evade responsibility and deny involvement in the deal. However, on the six-page common services agreement between the opposition and Silvercorp, published by the Washington Post, Guaido’s signature stands – meaning that the pro-American oppositionist was indeed directly involved in the negotiations.

The invasion plan assumed that armed mercenaries were infiltrating Venezuelan territory from the North. Then military bases are attacked, there is a popular uprising that ends with the arrest of President Nicolas Maduro.

In prehistory, it is worth noting that on the eve of these events in August 2019, the pro-American opposition with Guaido created the “Strategic Committee” to coordinate a strategy to overthrow the government.

However, something went very wrong: soon, a disagreement arose between the sides. As Goudreau himself said, Guaido had broken the contract and paid nothing (even a minimum contribution of $1.5 million). Goudreau decided to continue at any cost to prepare the operation with the participation of dozens of fugitive Venezuelans living in Colombia. Because he is a “freedom fighter” (a curious justification for intervention in a foreign country, especially given that his company charges a hefty fee for its ‘services’).

“This isn’t a wartime action; this is a policing action,” Goudreau said. “The world recognizes one guy [Guaidó] as president, so they hired me to arrest the other person who has usurped power, Nicolás Maduro.”

Goudreau denies receiving funding from the US government or the Colombian authorities: the money for the operation, according to SilverCorp, the company had received from Uber (!) drivers sympathetic to the coup.

Operation Gideon failed before it could begin. Eight invaders were eliminated, the rest were arrested.

Despite the grand scandal, Goudreau insists that the operation “continues” and that the main Venezuelan opposition betrayed him by giving up their deal.

Right after failure, FactoresdePoder published a video in which Goudreau claimed responsibility for the “amphibious raid”. On the same video was Javier Quintero Nieto, who said that the goal is to detain the leadership of the Maduro government and liberate political prisoners.

Is Washington involved?

There was much debate in the media as to whether the operation was approved by Washington.

President Donald Trump and other American officials deny knowing about the failed operation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the US government was not directly involved, but demanded the mercenaries release.

Goudreau says that he had unsuccessfully sought US support through an assistant in Vice President Pence’s office. He refused to give the name of the assistant. Pence’s spokesman said on Wednesday that there was “zero contact” between anyone in the vice president’s office and Goudreau.

President Maduro said in a television speech on the night of May 4 that the participation of US citizens with ties to the government in a conspiracy to overthrow him was proof that the Trump administration was directly involved in the plan.

According to Maduro, the operation was prepared by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (the agency denies it) and was carried out by the private company.

Maduro says the mercenaries planned to kill him. According to him, they were trained in Colombia, and financed by the Colombian and American authorities. Colombia and the United States continue to deny everything, accusing Maduro of trying to distract attention from the problems in the country.

What actually happened?

Journalists are wondering why the operation was such an incredible failure. Many compared it to a similar operation in the Gulf of Pigs in April 1961, when US authorities sent 1500 fighters to invade Cuba. The operation was a failure, even with US support. However, this recent coup effort was so pathetic it began to raise questions. A NYMag article reads:

“I did assume — naively! erroneously! — that the first rule of organizing a coup is that you do not tweet about it. And doesn’t it require a lot of planning? Based on my many years spent playing successive versions of civilization, I think that if you want to capture a country’s capital city, you are going to need more than a boat, some guns, and 62 men of dubious military skill.”

A friend and colleague of Goudreau’s, Drew White, said in an interview with The Grayzone that the actions of the head of SilverCorp surprised him, and recognized it as an illegal activity. According to him, he did not agree to participate in the process precisely because there was no official contract or consent from the US government.

Accordingly, the following versions can be assumed for now:

1. Goudreau is an arrogant adventurer who was ready to take a huge risk without proper financing. Goudreau may have wanted to do this in order to prove himself to the Trump administration. Goudreau has collaborated this version of the events in his statements.

2. An attempt to frame Guaido in retaliation for not paying the contract. Guaido is now at the center of the scandal, and his credibility has been shaken among many circles (as a result of secret cooperation with the illegal intervention and the subsequent denial of his involvement).

3. To discredit Trump, taking into account the fact that Silvercorp provided services to the President, as every major media publication reminds us. In other words, whether or not the task was designed by Goudreau himself, the globalists picked up on it as a good excuse to criticize the US president.

4. Using SilverCorp mercenaries as cannon fodder (perhaps without even spending a dollar, since Goudreau was willing to work for free) and getting an official excuse for future government intervention to save American citizens. Pompeo has already announced that the US will take action to liberate the US citizens.

Previously, Trump said repeatedly that “all options are on the table” for overthrowing the Venezuelan government.

Which version is the most justified will show time. The main conclusion that can be drawn is that pro-American agents (official and shadow agents) are openly sabotaging Venezuela and trying to gain control over the rebellious country by all means.

According to the 2011 report of the Senate National Security Committee, the federal Government spent $3.1 billion between 2005 and 2009 on the project. Between 2005 and 2009, the federal Government spent $3.1 billion on private contracts for anti-drug policies in Latin America. Since the Americans recently accused Maduro of drug trafficking, they are trying to use that as an additional excuse to interfere in the country’s affairs.

In an interview with the BBC, security expert Adam Isacson said the practice of private military companies in Latin America is frequent, as in Iraq or Africa, and that these groups also conduct military operations.

The US government has invested decades of effort, numerous troops and countless money in subjugating Latin America to its will. The US has assassinated, overthrown or attempted to remove every left-wing leader that has come to power in Latin American.

The main question now is how the strange adventure of Goudreau will end. Perhaps the failure and arrest of the Americans will be used as an excuse to strike at the country.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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January 2021