World, Americas

Venezuela reveals contract in Sunday's maritime raids

Contract includes signatures of opposition leader Guaido, two advisors, owner of SilverCorp USA, attorney

Beyza Binnur Dönmez   | 06.05.2020
Venezuela reveals contract in Sunday's maritime raids


Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro revealed Wednesday a contract signed by opposition leader Juan Guaido and former US Green Beret Jordan Goudreau, who owns SilverCorps USA, a private security firm allegedly linked to Sunday's failed maritime raids.

Maduro showed the document during a press conference hours after US State Secretary Mike Pompeo denied Washington’s involvement in the raids.

The contract includes signatures of Guaido, advisors Sergio Vergara and Juan Jose Rendon, Goudreau and attorney Manuel Retureta.

Maduro said there are "first-level declarations" that mention the former Green Beret keeps in touch with the United States government and with Guaido to attempt a coup.

"Jordan Goudreau has worked directly for several years with Donald Trump, in contract with the White House and the State Department," he added.

Noting remarks where Trump's said the attacks have "nothing to do with our government,” Maduro said: "Donald Trump receives reports every morning about Venezuela, making it impossible for him not to know about the attack." 

"Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo are behind this," he claimed and added: "They outsourced this action. If it went well, try an intervention escalation and if it went wrong, wash your hands and be able to lie.

"If an investigation is carried out in the US, they will find all the information about the attempted armed incursion," Maduro said.

He confirmed that four more "terrorists" linked to raids have been captured.

Testimony of US mercenary

Maduro presented video testimony of Luke Denman, one of two Americans who is said to be detained in the failed mercenary attack aimed at overthrowing his government. 

Denman also confirmed the contract and his signature on the document.

In the video, he detailed how the team got to Colombia and organized armed groups to enter Venezuela.

"I trained armed groups of Venezuelans because I believed that this would help their 'cause'. I thought this was not the case for irregular armed groups," Denman said. "The orders we had were to secure and take the airport to transfer President Nicolas Maduro to the United States."

'No doubt of Colombian support'

Colombia is the second country after the US that Maduro held responsible for attempts against his government.

"There is no doubt that [President] Ivan Duque supported the armed incursion against Venezuela," he said.

Maduro urged an investigation to verify Colombia’s involvement.

"Today in Bogota, Juvenal Sequea, Hernan Aleman and Alexander Russo are captured," Maduro said, referring to those who prepared a drone suicide attack in 2018. "It is impossible to hide the participation of Ivan Duque." 

Speaking on the narcoterrorism claims, the he said the "only relationship that Venezuela has had with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was to help in peace negotiations and the signing of the peace agreement recognized by the UN Security Council."

The US indicted Maduro and several key aides on alleged charges of narcoterrorism.

Operation Gideon

The US "mercenaries" were among other 13 detained armed attackers as part of Operation Gideon that was launched Sunday to "liberate" Venezuela and capture Maduro.

Maduro identified the other American as Airan Berry.

According to multiple reports, Goudreau claimed responsibility for the raids.

He also confessed he signed a contract with Guaido to overthrow Maduro. Guaido has denied the allegation.

However, Diosdado Cabello, the number two man in the Venezuelan government said Guaido is taking refuge in a European embassy to avoid arrest by the prosecutor's office.

"He has already chosen the embassy where he wants to go, it is European. He knows what I am talking about because he already sent some suitcases," Cabello said during a television show late Tuesday. “What will those suitcases have?"

Diplomatic ties between Caracas and Washington have been on a knife's-edge since last year amid heightened political tension due to a power struggle between Maduro and Guaido.

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