Spanish – At least two American citizens were arrested by the Nicolás Maduro dictatorship after a “failed incursion” called Operation Gideon, which sought to overthrow the regime. They are two former U.S. military veterans who participated in missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Luke Denman and Airon Barry were on a fishing boat, and along with other Venezuelan citizens, they were looking to reach the mainland to allegedly be part of a plan to capture Maduro. However, on Monday, May 4, they were detained by the regime.
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
Jack Murphy, who claims to be a former U.S. Ranger, said both Denman and Barry are former members of the 10th Special Forces Group of the United States.
The two U.S. citizens were with Bolivarian National Guard (GN, B) officer Antonio Sequea and General Raul Baduel’s son, Josnars Adolfo Baduel. They were transported by helicopter from Aragua state to Caracas.
On Twitter, Murphy reported that the detainees were hidden for eight days while crossing the border into Venezuela. He also revealed that in Jamaica, the CIA had tried to persuade them to cease the operation because it was unofficial.
Murphy also criticized his colleagues for carrying their military ID cards with them: “Brother, who carries their military ID card with them on a mercenary job to get rid of a foreign government,” he said.
On Monday, May 4, Maduro presented evidence of the participation of the two U.S. citizens and stated that the captured foreigners identified themselves as “members of Donald Trump’s security team.” However, the U.S. president denied any link: “it has nothing to do with our government.”
#ÚLTIMAHORA: Presidente Trump niega vinculación de EEUU con lo ocurrido en Venezuela. “Acabo de recibir información”, dijo de los dos estadounidenses detenidos en Venezuela este lunes y agregó “no tiene nada que ver con nuestro gobierno
— Periodista Lugo (@hecmirylugo) May 5, 2020
The former U.S. soldiers were part of Jordan Goudreau’s team. Goudreau, a retired U.S. soldier, is a three-time Bronze Star recipient for his courage in Iraq and Afghanistan. He, along with Venezuelan captain Javier Nieto Quintero, claimed responsibility for Sunday’s events in Macuto, Vargas state, as part of what they called Operation Gideon.
Goudreau, also CEO of Silvercorp, told the Washington Post that two Americans, working within a larger group, were captured Monday, along with six Venezuelans, after launching an operation to infiltrate Venezuela. Goudreau also said other members of Operation Gideon were captured or killed on Sunday.
On Sunday, Néstor Reverol, Minister of the Interior, Justice, and Peace, reported that “a group of terrorist mercenaries from Colombia attempted to invade by sea.” According to Reverol, the group tried to enter the coasts of La Guaira in speedboats to execute “a new attempt at a coup d’état.”
The fast boats that used members of Operation Gideon were spotted aerially by the Bolivarian Naval Aviation of Venezuela.
It wasn’t an invasion. The mission was doomed to fail all along
In an interview with the PanAm Post, journalist Daniel Blanco said that Operation Gideon is a reality, although many political actors seek to deny it.
Blanco said that the group seeking to overthrow Maduro lost “almost the entire tactical team” and that the two assault groups also collapsed. “Part of the failure must be attributed to poor planning and poor training. The Associated Press even reported last week that the military and mercenaries were training with broomsticks as if they were assault rifles,” he said.
He added that the plan would also have failed because of “the zero operational security with which it was handled.” They gave away as much detail and secrecy as they could every time they spoke to the press,” he said, referring to Goudreau.
“Any soldier knows that you don’t talk to anyone outside the circle in the middle of an action of this kind. Obviously, this was not the case here. Jordan Goudreau spoke live about the number of soldiers in the operation and the points of entry. He was thinking about gaining prestige as a mercenary at the expense of his team members’ lives,” Blanco added.
The journalist reported that the entire operation was infiltrated “from head to toe.” “An example of this is that a month ago, a Venezuelan patrol boat crashed into a foreign cruise ship in search of U.S. mercenaries. There is also the seizure of weapons at the border five weeks ago,” he added.
Regarding the clothing of the former soldiers and volunteers of the operation, Blanco reported that they were dressed as fishermen, which shows that “it was infiltration and not an assault.” He added that the objective was to capture Maduro.