Venezuela - U.S. Again Tries Regime Change...

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Re: Venezuela - U.S. Again Tries Regime Change...

Postby norton ash » Mon May 04, 2020 12:47 pm

The Venezuelan government is claiming it has foiled a coup attempt after 10 armed men landed in a boat in a port city near Caracas. Venezuelan authorities killed eight of the men, whom they described as “mercenary terrorists.” Two men were captured. A former U.S. Green Beret claimed the attack was part of a wider attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

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Re: Venezuela - U.S. Again Tries Regime Change...

Postby JackRiddler » Mon May 04, 2020 4:37 pm

norton ash » Mon May 04, 2020 11:47 am wrote:
The Venezuelan government is claiming it has foiled a coup attempt after 10 armed men landed in a boat in a port city near Caracas. Venezuelan authorities killed eight of the men, whom they described as “mercenary terrorists.” Two men were captured. A former U.S. Green Beret claimed the attack was part of a wider attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

Rhymes with 'Bay of Pigs.'

Sure, but that is just awful reporting: "A former U.S. Green Beret claimed the attack was part of a wider attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government." And that's it. Who said that?! When and where? What was his knowledge of it? What's the context? (One part of context: Trump and a bunch of fugly generals at the daily press con weeks ago announced US dispatching a fleet to the Caribbean to "combat drug trade" and bring them that Maduros to justice.)

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Re: Venezuela - U.S. Again Tries Regime Change...

Postby Elvis » Mon May 04, 2020 5:13 pm

At least Al Jazeera mentioned the US sanctions; MSM often skips that altogether, as if it never occurred to them that sanctions are a huge factor in Venezuela's economy.

Did I post these? From last year:

"Report Finds US Sanctions on Venezuela Are Responsible for Tens of Thousands of Deaths" ... of-deaths/

The report itself:
"Economic Sanctions as Collective Punishment: The Case of Venezuela" ... 9-04-1.pdf

Executive Summary

This paper looks at some of the most important impacts of the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the US government since August of 2017. It finds that most of the impact of these sanctions has not been on the government but on the civilian population.

The sanctions reduced the public’s caloric intake, increased disease and mortality (for both adults and infants), and displaced millions of Venezuelans who fled the country as a result of the worsening economic depression and hyperinflation. They exacerbated Venezuela’s economic crisis and made it nearly impossible to stabilize the economy, contributing further to excess deaths. All of these impacts disproportionately harmed the poorest and most vulnerable Venezuelans.

Even more severe and destructive than the broad economic sanctions of August 2017 were the sanctions imposed by executive order on January 28, 2019 and subsequent executive orders this year; and the recognition of a parallel government, which as shown below, created a whole new set of financial and trade sanctions that are even more constricting than the executive orders themselves.

We find that the sanctions have inflicted, and increasingly inflict, very serious harm to human life and health, including an estimated more than 40,000 deaths from 2017–2018; and that these sanctions would fit the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population as described in both the Geneva and Hague international conventions, to which the US is a signatory. They are also illegal under international law and treaties which the US has signed, and would appear to violate US law as well.
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Re: Venezuela - U.S. Again Tries Regime Change...

Postby JackRiddler » Wed May 06, 2020 12:32 pm

Former US Special Ops Soldier Led Plot to Invade Venezuela: Sources
By Lucas Koerner

Santiago de Chile, May 2, 2020 ( – A former member of the US Army special forces reportedly helped organize a military expedition aimed at ousting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

According to the Associated Press, ex-green beret Jordan Goudreau, 43, was responsible for training a contingent of 300 Venezuelan army deserters in Colombia, who were to penetrate Venezuela in a heavily armed caravan and seize the capital of Caracas within 96 hours.

The decorated veteran of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan reportedly began his involvement with Venezuela in February 2019. At the time, Goudreau’s firm, Silvercorp, provided security at a concert organized in the Colombian border city of Cucuta, which was part of a US-backed opposition effort to force “humanitarian aid” into Venezuela.

Last May, in the wake of a failed opposition military putsch, Goudreau met with US President Donald Trump’s personal bodyguard, Keith Schiller, as well as Lester Toledo, a senior representative of Venezuelan self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaido, in Miami.

Toledo subsequently introduced Goudreau to a retired Venezuelan major general, Cliver Alcala during a meeting in Bogota. Both Toledo and Schiller are said to have ended all contact with Goudreau after their respective meetings with him.

The former commander of Venezuela’s Guyana integral defense region who broke with the Maduro government in 2016, Alcala headed three training camps for low-ranking Venezuelan soldiers who had deserted during the February 2019 “humanitarian aid” operation. Among the recruits in the camps was a former Venezuelan National Guard soldier alleged to have been involved in the August 2018 drone assassination attempt against Maduro.

AP cited sources claiming that conditions in the camps were poor and that Goudreau failed to deliver on his promise to deliver the requisite weapons and financing.

Sources alleged that the plot’s main financier was Roen Kraft, a descendent of the billionaire Kraft family, who has denied the accusation.

The military expedition first entered the media limelight when an arms shipment was seized by Colombian authorities in early March. AP reports that the caché contained newly purchased arms and tactical equipment valued at US $150,000.

Following the seizure, the Venezuelan government publicly accused Alcala of plotting a “military incursion into Venezuela.” The next day, on March 26, Alcala was indicted by the US Department of Justice on “narco-terrorism” charges alongside a host of current and former high-ranking officials, including President Nicolas Maduro.

Alcala promptly denied the charges, though he confirmed that the intercepted weapons were destined for the caravan, claiming that the operation had been coordinated with Guaido and “US advisors.” The retired general later turned himself over to Colombian authorities despite there being no order for his extradition and is currently in US custody in New York.

The AP report contained repeated denials that Washington “sponsored Goudreau’s actions nor that Trump has authorized covert operations against Maduro.”

However, AP confirmed that both Colombia and Venezuelan opposition leaders were aware of Goudreau and Alcala’s activities. The report did not indicate whether US authorities had knowledge of the plot.

For his part, Alcala has claimed that he signed a “contract” with his “American advisors” and Miami-based Guaido advisor J.J. Rendon, accusing the self-proclaimed “interim president” of betraying the agreement.

However, the former general has yet to produce the document, nor has Goudreau, despite AP having “repeatedly” asked him for a copy.

Rendon, who has been previously accused of working with far-right former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and USAID to foment deadly street violence in Venezuela, has denied the existence of a contract. “Rendon said his work for Guaidó is confidential and he would be required to deny any contract, whether or not it exists,” AP reported.

The planned incursion was not the first time Alcala attempted an invasion of his homeland. According to Bloomberg, the ex-military official was planning to lead a heavily armed force of 200 men to “clear the way” for the opposition’s convoy of USAID-supplied “humanitarian aid” on February 23, 2019. Bogota reportedly vetoed the plan at the last minute out of fear of spiraling violence.

AP made no reference to Bloomberg’s reporting of Alcala’s previous anti-government activities.

With additional reporting by Ricardo Vaz from Mérida.
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Re: Venezuela - U.S. Again Tries Regime Change...

Postby annie aronburg » Wed May 06, 2020 1:14 pm

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"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.
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Re: Venezuela - U.S. Again Tries Regime Change...

Postby cptmarginal » Sun May 10, 2020 9:49 am ... -invasion/

On May 5, I spoke at length to Drew White, a former US Army Green Beret and the COO of the Silvercorp mercenary firm which spearheaded a botched invasion of in Venezuela on Sunday, May 3. On May 4, I made contact with Jordan Goudreau, the Silvercorp CEO whom US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido and his Miami-based advisor, J.J. Rendon, personally contracted to lead the operation.

While Goudreau seemed nervous and suggested I call back the following day, White spoke at length about his peripheral knowledge of the failed plot as well as his relationship with the two Americans Green Berets currently in Venezuelan custody.

White lives in Colorado Springs, a good distance from Melbourne, Florida, where both Silvercorp and Goudreau are based. He said he broke with Goudreau over the boneheaded coup plot, telling The Grayzone he thought it sounded insane.

White emphasized that he was uncomfortable with the plan because its leaders did not appear to have concrete US government backing. He said that although Goudreau claimed to have a State Department contract, he hadn’t seen one, which led him to question the legality of the operation. White hoped his army buddy and former best man at his wedding did not go through with the mission. He wished they had stuck with their original business plan, which was to provide school security.

But unfortunately, the plot went through, even after Goudreau– whom White described as a “true believer”– had been exposed by name in the Associated Press. Now two of their army friends are in Venezuelan custody, and face criminal prosecution in the country for planning to kidnap and possibly kill its elected leader, President Nicolas Maduro.

So what drove Goudreau and his crew to follow through on their batshit operation? And what did Mike Pompeo’s State Department know about it, and when? White’s testimony raises they key question: why did Goudreau believe he had a State Department contract in the first place?

Pompeo says the US government had no “direct involvement” in the operation. Even if true, his assertion still leaves the door open to possible indirect support, such as reconnaissance or logistics assistance. What’s more, just days before Goudreau’s failed operation, Pompeo told reporters he was instructing his team to “update [their] plans to re-open the US embassy in Caracas”. Why?

In the video above, I put these questions to White and offers my own thoughts about them afterwards, asking how it is possible that US citizens were running a private military operation in Colombia without the knowledge of US embassy staff in Bogotá. I also question the role of US diplomat James Story, who has managed a “U.S. Virtual Embassy” to Venezuela out of the Colombian capital since he was kicked out of Caracas last spring.

A full transcript of my interview with White is below:

DREW WHITE: This is Drew.

ANYA PARAMPIL: Hi, Drew White?

DW: Yes.

AP: Hi. How are you? My name is Anya Parampil. I’m a journalist based in Washington DC. I’m calling because I saw that you are listed as the COO on a corporation called Silvercorps USA.

DW: Very familiar. Correct

AP: And and I was wondering, I mean, I guess you know the question if you had any thoughts about what’s been going on in the news lately regarding Silvercorps and Jordan. I’ve been trying to reach him, but I’m just curious what exactly you think about what’s gone on in Venezuela. Were you aware of any of this?

DW: So I mean, I’ve been talking to the media that calls when I catch it. My position and involvement is pretty transparent so, Silvercorps started as a company to supervise school security. Training special operations soldiers, law enforcement, putting them in schools to prevent active shooter events, right?

AP: Mhmm.

DW: Well, that was going, starting to work out, and then, you know, we broke ways, he started contracting overseas. And then he contacted me about this Venezuelan operation which appeared at the moment to be a State Department operation, right? Well I started to look into it, the contract didn’t line up. So we broke ways there and then I didn’t, you know get involved in the actual operation… it didn’t seem like a sanctioned operation.

AP: Right, so why do you say it was State Department?

DW: It was a contract that was presented as a State Department contract. I just didn’t see it as that. It did not appear to be a State Department contract.

AP: But he was trying to suggest it was?

DW: Yeah I mean he said it was, yeah. I mean he said it was. [laughs]

AP: Do you think that maybe even though it wasn’t officially a State Department contract that there were US officials involved?

DW: As far as I can tell there’s no US involvement in this at all.

AP: So what exactly was Jordan’s relationship with [Trump personal bodyguard] Keith Schiller?

DW: I’m not sure. Apparently they’ve talked but I’m not privy to it. I don’t know the relationship. I’ve never met the guy, never talked to him. I was just told that there was a relationship.

AP: Yeah, it seemed that Jordan has done security for Trump events.

DW: Yeah, I mean [in audible]… it doesn’t mean affiliation. But, I don’t, there was nothing essentially, it appears that there might have been something with [Guaidó]. You know, the actual… [man the US] recognized as President, but as far as the U.S. working with Silvercorps, I’ve never seen a State Department contract, ever.

AP: Mhmm, but he didn’t mention that he even was speaking with US officials or that they were supporting it other than just the vague references to Schiller?

DW: Correct.

AP: So you’re not in contact with him or have you spoken with him since all this went down?

DW: No. I mean, it’s been a while since we talked. So, I mean, I don’t know, I don’t know, much other than, you know we started originally the school security company and then now it’s named in this.

AP: What is Jordan like?

DW: Great guy. You know he was the best man at my wedding, close personal friend. Love the guy, just don’t know [inaudible] this direction honestly, you know, I just sort of at a loss for words at this point.

AP: Yeah, it’s kind of concerning because it seems like he would even be maybe at risk for arrest or something like that right now.

DW: Yeah, I’m just worried about them, like I said I love the guy. He’s like a brother to me.

AP: So why do you think he got so caught up in the Venezuelan opposition? Did he tell you that they had told him that this was a guaranteed, surefire operation, that it would just take a little bit of support?

DW: I mean essentially you had [Guaidó’s] backing and, you know, and I guess the assumption might have been that you know, if that’s like the supposed person to take over from Maduro, that maybe that seemed legitimate at that point. I just, again, I know enough because of everything that’s breaking now, so, but I just didn’t think it would actually… you know he talked about it, you know okay, whatever, and then once we had heard about it, and then it seemed that it wasn’t a State Department activity, no, that’s when I was like I can’t, I can’t be a part of any of this. You know what I mean? Because I own several companies around here and you know, I have my wife and kid and you know, they’re my priority. So I’m like look, man, like if it’s in the realm of legality and not a lawyer but I looked at it and it just didn’t seem right to me, you know? That would mean, I didn’t just I didn’t have all the information on it. But for me, my gut check was like: I don’t want to be a part of this.

AP: Yeah, I understand. Do you two have any idea where money may have come from, he mentioned crowdsourcing?

DW: I mean that’s the part I heard is that you know, I guess these Uber drivers, other people I know on our end, no money, no money was there, it just wasn’t legitimate from our standpoint. It doesn’t mean that you know, [in audible]now it’s just so open-ended. I just, I know him as the best man in my wedding, and close friend and teammate, we served together overseas. [inaudible] I just see him as that. I woke up Friday, you know, and saw this stuff breaking, and that actually a live operation went down. Luke Denman and Airan Barry were teammates of mine– so I’m like–

AP: I was going to just add is going to ask you about them. I mean, it’s crazy now because they’re–

DW: Luke Denman is a close personal friend of mine.

AP: So did you speak with them before they were getting involved in this or did they tell you–

DW: They went off… I mean they didn’t really, everyone was pretty closed on it. Obviously, I essentially told anybody that was looking at it that, it did not seem viable. You know I’m like this doesn’t…

AP: It just seems a little crazy.

DW: Yeah you’re right. I mean to me, I look at– but like I don’t know the whole story. I don’t know what I don’t know, I just look at it from the outside and what was presented to me, you know, the business decision. This doesn’t make any sense. I’m out. I don’t want anything to do with it. So, I was doing school security and that’s what I wanted to do.

AP: Yeah, this is a big leap from that. So did the two other men the ones who are now detained– there’s been rumors floating in Venezuela that one of them is a DEA agent, that one of them said that they had connections–

DW: None of them are DEA. They’re both prior service. Special forces members. Luke and Airan are both Green Berets, have no attachment to DEA or CIA ops.

AP: There were also claims that they were connected to Trump security as well?

DW: None of them.

AP: Do you get the sense that Jordan maybe wanted to do this in order to prove himself to the Trump Administration or like make himself into the next Erik Prince something like that?

DW: Nah, he’s, Jordan, is, he’s a decent guy, he’s an intelligent guy, I truly believe, honestly, I think he did this for, he truly believes that him removing Maduro is better for the people there. Like, honest to God.

AP: I believe that. But I just think–

DW: I think he maybe, I don’t know if it was a conversation he had with people from… I don’t know. You know I don’t know what I don’t know, again. But from what I got from him is that, he spent a lot of time in South America. I think he grew an attachment for it. And I think he thought he was going what was right.

AP: In Colombia, or where?

DW: He started in Colombia with you know that [Richard Branson] concert he did security for? That’s when that all opened up.

AP: Do you know how he ended up with that contract?

DW: Uhh, he was doing contracting in either the Dominican or Puerto Rico and he had a contact there that got him involved.

AP: And so from that point he kind of met the Venezuelan opposition–

DW: That’s what I’m thinking. I mean I was, I’m a mortgage and insurance guy. So, I did 12 years in Special Operations, that’s a past life for me. I’m separated from it, have my family. I don’t know… like I have no clue honestly… it’s like one of your friends that calls you every few months, right? You just pick up where you left off and just, you know making sure that he was okay. That’s what I cared about. You know I have a lot of friends that, you know, die or kill themselves or whatnot and so that was like my biggest thing… making sure the guys were okay. When he calls and he’s like ‘I’m over here in South America’– are you okay?— ‘yeah I’m okay’– like, that’s all I need to know. That’s all I care about.

AP: Yeah, I guess I understand why what you’re saying about him being so convinced that he you know, removing Maduro is the right thing and I think a lot of people feel that way, but it takes something else to actually go this far after, especially because last year there was a failed military uprising like, and I can tell you I’ve spent a lot of time in Venezuela and people who do understand the situation would look at this plot and say it’s totally absurd. So I wonder–

DW: No, I agree, I just you know, in where we’ve been in for myself personally: Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq, you know multiple places across the world… um… I just don’t see anything more than the fact that, I truly believe that… I’m sorry I’m just distracted now because I see the news talking about all this crap… in my office.

AP: It must be surreal.

DW: Yeah, but he is a, he is a ‘true believer’ as we say where we come from.

AP: In the military?

DW: Yeah. You know like he believes in… people should be free, they should not be oppressed, you know whatever… mattered to him. I mean he came out and said it: I did this for no money, I have no clue what’s going on. I don’t know I just don’t know what he’s doing, I just don’t see him getting past what I can see [inaudible]

AP: Did you ever meet any of the Venezuelans he was dealing with or hear about them?

DW: No, no, like again I got pulled into this because I was listed as the COO of the school security project. He refiled again, and you know I’ve had threats against myself, and everything on social media.

AP: I’m sorry about that.

DW: Yeah I’m like waking up to this on a Friday… [laughs]

AP: Yeah, I’m sorry about that. It’s really, I mean, I think everybody was shocked because it was just so insane, but I can’t imagine, yeah, you had this personal relationship with him. What would you want to say to him now?

DW: Oh, I love the guy… um… I don’t know [goes silent]

AP: I hope he’s okay.

DW: Absolutely.

AP: But, so you haven’t tried to get in touch with him?

DW: No, I mean, that’s what I told people, I was like look. My responsibility is my family.

AP: Yeah, totally. Well, I did speak with Jordan yesterday and he was very friendly and he said that he wanted to speak with me today and I haven’t been able to reach him. So I guess I’ll just hope that maybe he’ll resurface again.

DW: Just text him. I mean like, just tell him like, I care about the guy.

AP: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I bet .Well, let’s stay in touch. I will let you know if I hear from him. I know he’s your friend. I don’t want to like put you in the position where you have to tell me, but I guess we’ll have to hear more. We’ll learn more about where he is. And what’s going on in the next few days.

DW: Yeah, absolutely. I mean it’s just… one, I mean, Airan and Luke are the priority.

AP: Yeah.

DW: I mean we all know it [inaudible] but the thing is, like with Jordan. You know my thing is he’s such an intelligent guy. Like I don’t know what’s going on, if he was misled and something happened. You know what I mean? Like, none of it adds up to me. It’s just like in the first AP article, none of this makes sense to me.

AP: Yeah. I think that’s a lot of us. And it seemed like he was– well all of the media it seemed is kind of like attacking him and it’s like it’s trying to blame him alone for it, forget about the Venezuelan opposition, and I mean, I would still like to ask Jordan if maybe there were US officials coaxing him along, maybe not directly supporting him, but maybe giving him confidence.

DW: Yeah. And the thing is, we’ve seen what happened. These guys, I mean, we just don’t know. Everything is so, it’s just, I don’t know. I feel bad for the guy, I hope, I hope that he, in the end he’s exonerated. I have some anger towards this for being listed on there, I mean that pisses me off that my family’s put in jeopardy for something I’m not involved with, you know. It’s been pretty wild. But really the ultimate part to me is that my family, and that Jordan and Airan and Luke are just okay in the end. Regardless of what happens, or charges, or whatever. I just want them to be able to, whatever, recover and do what they need to do. Just be back, and their families don’t have to worry about it either.

AP: Yeah, do they have families?

DW: Luke’s Mom was today, I mean, both families. You know what I mean? Like, your parents.

AP: Yeah.

DW: Yeah, you know, just hearing Luke’s mom, right her statement was just, like heartbreaking. I mean it’s ridiculous. The whole thing is ridiculous.

AP: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I hope it will deescalate.

DW: I really do, you know what’s funny, you I just know what’s true and I don’t worry about it I don’t have to remember anything because its all what happened. I don’t know the operational side but I remember when it was brought up and you know, I just wish the guys went back to doing the school security shit. [laughs]

AP: Yeah, I’m sure they do too.

Anya Parampil is a journalist based in Washington, DC. She has produced and reported several documentaries, including on-the-ground reports from the Korean peninsula, Palestine, Venezuela, and Honduras.
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Re: Venezuela - U.S. Again Tries Regime Change...

Postby stickdog99 » Sun May 10, 2020 12:30 pm

So journalism is not completely dead. Thanks.
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Re: Venezuela - U.S. Again Tries Regime Change...

Postby PufPuf93 » Mon May 11, 2020 4:10 pm

Don't forget that in March 2020 Madura and four others were indicted in USA and $55 million in bounties placed on their asses.
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