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Bay of (split) Wigs: what a service contract to perform a coup d'etat looks like

4 min read

Jordan Goudreau’s Silvercorp is a US mercenary corporation based in Florida. Two of their American operatives were arrested in Venezuela. WaPo got a copy of a coup d’etat contract.

The video begins with Jordan Goudreau posing confidently, flanked by a man wearing an armour plate and a Venezuela flag wrapped around his shoulder. The man introduces Goudreau in a stern tone. Goudreau begins to speak with the terseness of a battle-hardened warrior as he confirms that an amphibious operation into Venezuela is underway. Goudreau begins by saying:

  • At 1700 hours, a daring amphibious raid was launched from the border of Colombia deep into the heart of Caracas. Our men are continuing to fight right now. Our units have been activated in the south, east and west of Venezuela. Commander Nieto is with me—is co-located—and commander Sequea is on  the ground now, fighting.

It is the afternoon of Sunday, May 3, 2020, and Goudreau is confirming that a botched attempt to infiltrate Venezuela with a team of expatriate soldiers (and later, two U.S. citizens) on a hopeless mission to topple the government of President Nicolas Maduro is his doing. By the time the video was first shared on Twitter, eight of Goudreau’s men were dead and two others captured as the boat they were on was intercepted at sea by the Venezuelan authorities. A second boat, soon on its way to Venezuela, would also be intercepted at sea the following day, resulting in the capture of eight of Goudreau’s men, including two American citizens.

Over a period of 48 hours starting on the morning of May 3, Goudreau’s Silvercorp USA would-be mercenary force would make headlines across the world as the spectacular failure of the operation came to light.

www.bellingcat.com/…

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— Kylie Atwood (@kylieatwood) May 7, 2020

President Trump and other U.S. officials have denied knowledge of the ill-fated operation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that “there was no United States government direct involvement.”
Goudreau says he unsuccessfully sought U.S. backing through an aide in the office of Vice President Pence. He declined to name the aide. A spokeswoman for Pence said Wednesday that there was “zero contact” between anyone in the vice president’s office and Goudreau.
“There was no coordination, nothing to do with this,” spokeswoman Katie Miller said.
Rendón said his committee kept details of its work to a small group and never shared them with U.S. officials, because the plan was only being “studied.”

[…]

Goudreau briefly came into contact last year with former longtime Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller, now a security consultant. The two men attended a meeting in Florida last spring with businessmen at which Goudreau met influential figures in the Venezuelan opposition, according to a person close to Schiller. That meeting was unrelated to the opposition’s strategic committee. Schiller, determining there were no real business prospects, subsequently cut off contact with both the opposition and Goudreau.
U.S. officials were aware, and concerned, about the hundreds of Venezuelan soldiers who had defected and were living precariously in Colombia. U.S. and Colombian officials shared concern that if they were destitute, they could be drawn into illicit activity. Discussions were held about how and whether to feed those men, or organize them to aid the Venezuelan refugee community.
But they viewed the idea that they could be organized into a fighting force as “completely insane,” one official said.
The Colombians “were against it and we were against it,” according to a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters. “No one should be doing this kind of military organizing.”

www.washingtonpost.com/…

Read the attachments to the General Services Agreement between the Venezuelan opposition and Silvercorp

context-cdn.washingtonpost.com/.

www.washingtonpost.com/…

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