Sure, Let's Try To Overthrow Venezuela. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Don't know who needs to hear this, but mounting a coup in Latin America is not a good hobby. Armed insurrection may sound like a cool way to see the world and lose those stubborn 10 pounds, but then you wind up in the middle of an international incident, or locked up in a South American prison, and realize you should probably have stuck to CrossFit or paintball. So stay safe kids, don't invade other countries and try to overthrow their leaders!
This PSA is brought to you by Silvercorp USA, a private military contracting company that appears to have just tried to take over Venezuela in a spectacularly botched invasion. The AP reports that former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau "had been working with a retired Venezuelan army general now facing 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 [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro's arrest."
What could possibly go wrong with a plan for 60 chancers on a shoestring budget to storm the beach in a handful of speedboats and take over a country with a 150,000-person army?
#4May A través de la inteligencia social y la unidad cívico militar policial se logró la captura de estos mercenari… https://t.co/hm9B4rmK6S— Rodolfo Marco Torres (@Rodolfo Marco Torres)1588616893.0
Oh, well, yes, you could have your operation infiltrated by Maduro's people and find the cops waiting for you when you land on a heavily guarded strip of coastline just outside the capital next to the country's biggest airport. That is also a distinct possibility.
AP has the whole insane backstory, but in short, after the US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó failed to topple Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro last year, hundreds of troops loyal to him poured over the border into Colombia. At the Marriott in Bogota, Venezuelan exiles planned their triumphant return to power, setting up training camps for a ragtag band of soldiers they hoped would carry out the mission. Jordan Goudreau, who got interested in the Venezuelan conflict when his company Silvercorp USA worked security for a benefit concert put on by billionaire Richard Branson, was hanging out in the Bogota Marriott and once he hooked up with Donald Trump's old bodyguard Keith Schiller ... well, these aren't very bright guys, and things just got out of hand.
"At 1700 hours, a daring, amphibious raid was launched from the border of Colombia deep into the heart of Caracas," Goudreau said in a video posted online this weekend of his "Operation Gideon" plan. "Our men are continuing to fight right now. Our units have been activated in the South, West and East of Venezuela. Commander Nieto is with me, is co-located, and Commander Sequea is on the ground now fighting."
Javier Nieto Quintero y Jordan Goudreau se atribuyen Operación Gedeón: "Es real" www.youtube.com
The Venezuelan government tells a slightly different story, however, and showed videos of Venezuelan National Guardsman Capt. Antonio Sequea being arrested on Monday.
"We knew everything," Maduro said, claiming to have had eyes on Goudreau at every stage of the plot. "What they ate, what they didn't eat. What they drank. Who financed them. We know that the US government delegated this as a [US Drug Enforcement Administration] operation."
Goudreau has claimed to have a $213 million contract with Guaidó, which the opposition leader vehemently denies, and the Venezuelan government is treating this as a US-backed coup plot. There are several reasons to think that's false, including the fact that the American government doesn't usually get into bed with people this fucking stupid, and when it does, it gives them enough money that they don't try to take over a country of 29 million people in a handful of banana boats. Here's a terrific video splainer on that one by independent journalist "Beau of the Fifth Column".
Let's talk about Venezuela's bizarre events... www.youtube.com
What is not disputed, however, is that at least two American citizens are now in Venezuelan custody, meaning this is now a problem for the entire US government. On television last night, Maduro displayed the passports of Airan Berry and Luke Denman, former Green Berets who served in Iraq with Goudreau.
Goudreau is now desperately seeking help from the Trump administration, telling Time Magazine, "I've tried to engage everybody I know at every level. Nobody's returning my calls. It's a nightmare."
"They are Americans. They are ex-Green Berets. Come on," he told the Washington Post.
So, on top of the goddamn pandemic nightmare, the Trump dipshits are now tasked with extracting two American citizens from an unstable government that we've been trying to strangle for years after a failed coup staged by a low-rent Erik Prince wannabe. And, by the by, we cannot help but notice that a lot of shadyass characters in Trumpland — Rudy Giuliani, Pete Sessions, Lev Parnas — have been dipping their moldy toes into Venezuelan politics lately. So when we finally get to the bottom of this clusterfuck, don't be surprised to see a familiar face or two.
In summary and in conclusion, we hope to have had better luck distracting you from the coronavirus tragedy with this article than Goudreau and his merry band of mercenaries did overthrowing the Maduro regime. The end.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.