Venezuela opposition negotiated Maduro coup plan with security

A news leak just published by the Washington Post revealed that Members of Venezuela’s opposition in October negotiated a $213 million deal with a small Florida security company to invade the country and overthrow President Nicolas Maduro.

It was only this week that Venezuelan police officers arrested more than a dozen people, including Americans who work for the company Silvercorp USA, as part of a bungled incursion that has served as a public relations victory for Maduro’s struggling government.

The leaked document deals a blow to the credibility of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has fervently denied any links to Silvercorp or involvement in the attempt to remove Maduro by force.

Image credit Miraflores Presidential Palace

Guaido, the president of the opposition-held National Assembly, argues that Maduro is criminally taking power after rigging a 2018 election and is recognised by dozens of countries as Venezuela’s rightful leader.

The plan described in the 42-page document offers minute tactical details ranging from which land mines to deploy and what riot gear to use but does not clarify how a small group of commandos could overpower hundreds of thousands of security forces who remain loyal to the ruling Socialist Party.

“Service Provider Group will advise and assist Partner Group in Planning and executing an operation to capture/detain/remove Nicolas Maduro (hereto after “Primary Objective”), remove the current Regime, and install the recognised Venezuelan President Juan Guaido,” announces the agreement.

The Washington Post said the general services agreement, signed by Juan Guaido, had been offered by Silvercorp CEO Jordan Goudreau, who has publicly described leading the operation. It said the detailed attachment had been given by Venezuelan opposition officials.

However, Guaido’s press team did not respond to a request for comment.

Image credit Alejandro Cegarra for The New Yorker

Guaido advisor Juan Rendon, whose signature also appears on the document, told CNN that he signed an “exploratory deal” with Silvercorp but that it was never completed. He said Silvercorp had led a “botched suicide” mission without Guaido’s support.

The document was also signed by opposition legislator Sergio Vergara and Goudreau.

Two main opposition parties, First Justice and Popular Will - which Guaido is affiliated with – yesterday said in a statement that “the democratic forces do not promote or finance guerrillas, outbreaks of violence or paramilitary groups,” echoing calls for a transition government.

The logos of six other parties, including Democratic Action and A New Era, which have significant representation in the National Assembly, appear on the document as well.

Luke Denman, one of the two captured Americans, appeared on Wednesday in a video on Venezuelan state television saying he had been tasked by Silvercorp with controlling Caracas’ airport to bring in a plane that would fly Maduro to the United States.

Notably to add, he and Airan Berry will both be tried in Venezuela’s civilian courts, Maduro affirmed.

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