The details are still coming to the forefront, but it seems that a former U.S. Green Beret was heavily involved in the secret military operation to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The Associated Press (AP) was first to break the story about a daring but overly ambitious plan to sneak 300 former soldiers from the regime into the northern tip of Venezuela. They would raid government armories along the way and create a popular uprising to overthrow Maduro’s regime.
Maduro is believed to have rigged the last elections. Sixty countries, including the U.S., recognize the opposition candidate, Juan Guaidó as the rightful president. However, Maduro is firmly entrenched in power, with the military backing him, so this plan had little chance of being successful. Luckily, this entire operation fell apart before it was ever launched. Still, the political fallout of the American involvement will no doubt be played up in the media as another failed coup attempt similar to the Bay of Pigs failed invasion of Cuba.
One of the alleged ringleaders of the coup plot was a former Army Green Beret, Jordan Goudreau. He is a decorated SF medic who was awarded three Bronze Stars during combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. After leaving the military, Goudreau in 2018 started his own company Silvercorp USA, a private security firm, near his home in Melbourne, Florida. Silvercorp’s website already lists operations in over 50 countries.
Those who knew Goudreau in Special Forces told AP the following, “[He was] always at the top of his class: a cell leader with a superb intellect for handling sources, an amazing shot and a devoted mixed martial arts fighter who still cut his hair high and tight.”
But as the coup plot unraveled, most of those involved pointed at Goudreau as a kind of a loose cannon, a smooth-talker, long on promises but short of coming through. That isn’t a shocker: While a successful operation has 1,000 fathers, a failed one is an orphan. And Goudreau is an easy target to pin the failure to. He’s now being portrayed as a “patriotic, gung-ho American, in over his head.” He makes a convenient target, while the rest run for cover.
He declined to be interviewed by AP for their piece.
What was worse for the plotters was that the former Venezuelan general, Major General Cliver Alcalá, whom they hoped would put a face to the plot for the Venezuelan military, has been jailed in the United States on the same narcoterrorism charges that the Justice Department leveled against Maduro.
What the plotters knew about Alcalá is strictly a matter of conjecture, but anyone even remotely doing their homework would have known about his background. Perhaps it was overlooked as dealing with the best of a bad situation.
The plan began in 2019 after some junior officers in the Venezuelan military pledged loyalty to Guaidó and attempted to ignite the rest of the military. But the coup fizzled and all the plotters were arrested.
Goudreau became acquainted with Guaidó when he was hired as security at a concert in support of the opposition president.
One of Goudreau’s former business partners, Drew White, reportedly broke with Goudreau when he hatched his regime change plan, “Nothing he said lined up,” White said.
Goudreau supposedly met with Alcalá at the Bogota Mariott and came up with a training plan for the general’s 300 men. According to the sources, he increasingly promised things he couldn’t deliver on. The already split opposition to Maduro split even further as Alcalá had a checkered background and his reliability was doubted.
Guaidó’s people cut ties with both Goudreau and Alcalá after the Mariott meetings as Guaido believed the mission to be a suicide. Expecting the Venezuelan army to fold and collapse like dominoes in the face of a poorly equipped 300-man force, without heavy weapons, U.S./Colombian support, or close contacts on the ground was not realistic.
Everything collapsed in March.
Although the Americans had supplied uniforms and were running a training program for physical fitness and close-quarters combat, there was never enough money raised, nor were there weapons and equipment for the 300 men that were tasked to cross the border. A small shipment of arms, equipment, and night vision goggles was stopped and confiscated by the Colombian police.
Alcalá’s arrest and extradiction to the United States to face charges was the final blow. The men in the camps disbanded and the planned coup was called off.
The Maduro regime is taking a victory lap, stating that they were on to the plot from the beginning. Diosdado Cabello, a senior member of the National Assembly of Venezuela, claimed that the government had been monitoring the coup participants for months.
“We knew everything. Some of their meetings we had to pay for. That’s how infiltrated they were,” he said. As for Goudreau, all of the other participants are painting him in the worst possible light, but no one has heard his side yet. Meanwhile, the United States and Colombia are said to be looking into the incident.