Cinematic scene from Sunday, May 3. While attempting an amphibious landing on the Chuao peninsula in the central Venezuelan state of Aragua, two former soldiers of the US Special Forces and eight deserted former Venezuelan police officers and military personnel are surprised by Venezuelan troops and the secret service SEBIN, who were well informed about the planned landing and were lying in wait.
The arrest took place after the futile resistance attempt of the mercenaries, who lose eight of their men in the hail of fire. The video footage shows Luke Denman (34) and Airan Barry (41) being brought ashore at gunpoint in the port city of La Guaira and lying on the ground with six other survivors in handcuffs.
The failed enterprise was reportedly spearheading an expanded incursion into Venezuelan territory with 300 mercenaries recruited and trained in Colombia since 2019. In an explosive Interview with the Colombian radio station Radio W, former Chávez confidante and Maduro enemy general Cliver Alcalá, who had been exiled to Barranquilla in Colombia since 2017, confirmed that he had signed a multi-hundred million Dollar contract with Juan Guaidó to establish mercenary commandos and smuggle weapons of war into Venezuela.
However, due to the corona quarantine, the weapons shipment happened to be stopped when a truck loaded with weapons was stopped by the Colombian health and safety authorities. Shortly thereafter, Alcalá voluntarily surrendered to the Colombian authorities, who extradited him to the United States on charges of drug smuggling. Alcalá, whose dubious relationship with the Donald Trump administration still promises to be the subject of thorough journalistic research, has, however, admitted on various occasions that he has US mercenaries in his service.
Among the six heavily armed Venezuelans also arrested were Capt. Antonio José Sequea – a deserter who participated in the failed April 30, 2019 coup and acted as one of the leaders of the Operation – and Josnar’s Adolfo Baduel, a former National Guard captain and son of former Defense Minister Raul Baduel, who was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2009 on corruption charges and later accused of conspiring to overthrow the government.
The order: kidnap Nicolás Maduro and fly to the USA
The world first learned of the new military attack on Venezuela through a televised address by the potential main victim of the attack: President Nicolás Maduro. In the broadcast broadcast last May 4, the head of State showed the ID cards of Luke Denman and Airan Barry, who had been hired to seek his life. More precisely, to kidnap him, murder him if necessary and fly to the USA, as one of the two Americans confirmed to the Venezuelan Secret Service.
These were the instructions of the first implementation stage of “enterprise Gideon”. The usurped Old Testament Name was meant to recall the biblical figure of Gideon (“the judge”) and thus sanctify Maduro’s eventual execution with the appearance of blessed retribution. The Venezuelan President assured that there was impeccable evidence against the Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó and his political advisor Juan José Rendón as contractors of the mercenaries, but at the same time accused the Donald Trump Administration and the Colombian Iván Duque government.
Héctor Shamis, a US-based Argentine lecturer at the arch-conservative Georgetown University, Israel Lobbyist and for years active in the media against Venezuelan Bolivarism, insinuated in an Interview with the Mexican CNN commentator Carmen Aristegui that “Operation Gideon” had exposed the “vulnerability of Maduro”.
The insinuation may be attributed more to a wishful thinking of Shamis, because the failure of the Operation seems to indicate the opposite. Namely the efficiency of the Venezuelan espionage, which in the thwarted mercenary landing could apparently also count on the Expertise of the Russian special unit “Spetsnaz GRU” in the patrol of the coast and the search for further mercenaries who left Colombia with several speedboats.
Unidad de Operaciones Especiales Rusas 🇷🇺 "Spetsnaz GRU" , apoyan a la FANB 🇻🇪 en el patrullaje y busqueda de los demas integrantes de la #OperacionGedeon pic.twitter.com/flUoHetp6Y— AeroNoticiasVE 🆕️ (@AeroNoticiasVE) May 8, 2020
In addition, there is another punch line. Venezuelan journalist Camila Valdés León recalled on Twitter that Duque had met with Donald Trump at the White House on March 2, citing President Maduro’s claim that the topic of the meeting was the planning of the attack on Venezuela. Maduro suggested that the US Congress should demand the classified information on the talks between Duque and Trump. The undertone of this request, however, makes every attentive observer overhear: should the Venezuelan government be in possession of a secret audio recording of this conversation?
Ivan Duque met with Trump at the White House on March 2nd. President @NicolasMaduro says that they met solely on this Venezuela matter and that Congress should demand to see classified documents on the talks between Duque & Trump.— Camila (@PrensaCamila) May 7, 2020
President's virtual presser on Wednesday: pic.twitter.com/reyZMv8qpo
US government denies involvement, but was the head of operations a bodyguard of Donald Trump?
Military instructor of the mercenaries is US military veteran Jordan Goudreau, owner of the Florida - based security and mercenary recruitment company Silvercorp. Goudreau was not afraid to act as an organizer of the Invasion and confirmed the participation of Barry and Denman. “They work with me. These are my people, " said the medal-winning former Special Forces member in the US war against Afghanistan and Iraq in talks with US media.
The US State Department Mike Pompeo did not immediately comment on the arrests, but strongly denied any involvement of the US government in the raid. Deutsche Welle hastened with the assurance, “USA: no participation in invasion of Venezuela”, but did not consider it necessary to investigate the question why one of the two US mercenaries was in possession of a driver’s license issued in the German city of Schweinfurt. More precisely: what were the US mercenaries doing in Germany?
Goudreau once again bragged about maintaining high-level government contacts and listening to President Trump’s security staff during one of his political rallies in North Carolina in 2018. As confirmation, Silvercorp posted on Instagram photos that appear to have been taken behind the scenes during Trump’s political rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 26, 2018. “Protection of our best assets,” says the title, which includes a security agent that resembles Goudreau.
In a promotional video on the Silvercorp website, Goudreau can be seen at the same Trump rally in North Carolina wearing a wireless Headset to shield Trump, who is speaking at a Podium in front of a large crowd. Other Silvercorp images show Goudreau in Houston with Trump supporters as well as walking towards a private jet that is said to be one of Trump’s Bodyguards, etc.however, after the images gained widespread media coverage, they were deleted on Instagram.
“The Secret Service does not use any contractually agreed security organizations or employees to carry out protective measures … this Person is not an employee or contractor of the Secret Service,” a Secret Service agent explained to the private US TV channel Univision, but added that it is customary for organizers for the president to hire companies and individuals to facilitate public access to the site.
Controversy: Pentagon and CIA withdrawn from Raid?
10th Special Forces Group veterans arrested for allegedly taking part in Venezuela coup plot. Luke Denman (ODA 0136) and Aaron Barry, went dark 8 days ago crossing the border. Worst part: CIA caught wind and tried to talk them out of it in Jamaica. Not a USG condoned op. https://t.co/uJehpn3GOg— Jack Murphy (@JackMurphyRGR) May 4, 2020
However, the Tweet of former Ranger and Special Forces veteran Jack Murphy suggests a hasty “spontaneity” of Goudreau and the Venezuelan deserters, who apparently felt the Pentagon, CIA and even Juan Guaidó’s environment were too daring. Murphy commented, " veterans of the 10th Special Forces Group were arrested for allegedly participating in the attempted coup in Venezuela. Luke Denman (Oda 0136) and Airan Barry took 8 dark days to cross the border. Worst of all, the CIA got Wind of it and tried to dissuade it in Jamaica. No USG-tolerated Operation”.
The Washington Post’s cited report states that Representative Juan Guaidó, led by his political strategist J. J. Rendón, met with Jordan Goudreau in a dazzling skyscraper in Miami in September 2019 to explore Terrain and possible options aimed at eliminating Nicolás Maduro. At this meeting Goudreau had assured that he would be able to provide 800 men for the secret infiltration from Colombia to Venezuela. In October, the Plan seemed ready for contract, but the total financing of $ 212 million was subject to certain conditions. J. J. Rendón admits to having signed a pre-contract and paid $ 50,000 to Jordan Goudreau, which he described as a pilot, but which was never approved.
In J. J. Rendón’s version, Goudreau began to act “erratically”: he did not provide any evidence of the financial support he had claimed for the Operation and demanded the immediate payment of an advance of 1.5 million dollars. There was also no evidence of the 800 men. In order not to delay the Operation, Rendón nevertheless transferred him 50,000 US dollars. The relationship between the two men deteriorated rapidly.
The fact that the Trump administration had nothing to do with the raid is a chimera that Goudreau vigorously opposed months ago. “Washington is fully aware of its direct participation in the project and I do not want (the government) to lose confidence,” the mercenary contractor warned Rendón in a text message dated October 10, 2019. At the beginning of November, there was a heated discussion at a new meeting in Rendón’s apartment in Miami. The exiled Venezuelan said that he, along with other opposition members, believed that the Operation had “died.” But she lived on until Sunday morning, May 3, when it became known that the Maduro government had thwarted the Invasion. Hours later, Goudreau appeared in a Video with a retired officer of the Bolivarian national guard. They committed another attack in the city of Macuto in the state of Vargas and announced the beginning of a broad Operation “for the liberation of Venezuela”.
What Goudreau apparently did not want to admit, but CIA and Pentagon suspected and therefore unofficially whistled back the Plan, is that “enterprise Gideon” had long been infiltrated by Nicolás Maduro’s agents in Colombia. Daniel Blanco, a security expert interviewed by the arch-conservative PanAm Post, warned that “Operation Gideon” was an irrefutable fact, although many political actors (in Washington) tried to deny it.
Blanco reported that before the landing, the mercenary group had lost “almost all tactical equipment” and had abandoned two other commands. As a justification, the Journalist cited bad planning and bad training, and he criticized Goudreau’s absurd media appearances with the release of military secrets, including the number of soldiers and their locations. The entire Operation had been infiltrated “from head to toe” and is reminiscent of the collision of a Venezuelan patrol boat with a Hamburg Cruise Ship on a “cleaning voyage” last April, on which the Venezuelan authorities suspected US mercenaries.
In reference to the Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba,” Operation Gideon “is already referred to as the Venezuelan"Bay of pigs” affair. The military attack, led by the CIA with around 1,300 mercenaries who fled Cuba after the 1959 Revolution, was aimed at overthrowing Fidel Castro and was defeated by prepared Cuban units in the Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) on 17 April 1961.