New details have emerged in a recent report about the daring — but foolish — raid on Venezuela this past May by three ex-US-special forces soldiers.
The goal? Toppling the Venezuelan government. The result? Failure, death and arrest.
The truth behind Operation Gideon and Silvercorp USA has now been revealed.
What Was the Plan?
The plan to capture Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro and overthrow the government was relatively simple but extremely risky.
In early May, ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau along with former Staff Sgt. Luke Denman and Sgt. Airan Berry were set to head up three crews of dozens of Venezuelan revolutionaries and infiltrate near the Venezuelan capital of Caracas by sailing in secretly from Colombia.
One would then seize a radio tower, broadcast a call sign to activate other fighters across the country, while the other crew would take over a nearby airport. The third would move to seize Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, putting him on a flight to the US where the Trump Administration was offering $15 million on narco-terrorism charges for his capture.
What Went Wrong?
Almost every part of the plan went wrong. As the Rolling Stone report reveals, there is a good chance that Goudreau and his Silvercorp mission were compromised from the start by double agents loyal to the Maduro regime and informants within the ranks of Venezuelan fighters he recruited.
There is also speculation that the Maduro regime was basically running the operation from the start via its agents and playing Goudreau and the US government the whole time.
Bad weather, broken boats, language barriers and more also got in the way, as well as a falling out with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who denies working with Goudreau and his team.
One of the Silvercorp boats got caught by the Venezuelan navy, who strafed it with gunfire and killed six fighters onboard. The other boat with Denman and Berry onboard was stopped and forced ashore in Macuto, Venezuela.
The plan was not well thought-out and had already been leaked days before in the Associated Press, who Goudreau blames for the deaths which occurred and the mission’s failure.
Whatever happened to Silvercorp USA And Jordan Goudreau after they invaded Venezuela
— Sheila Hogan (@janetracker) July 27, 2020
Did the Trump Administration Greenlight the Raid?
It is still not clear how much the Trump Administration knew about Goudreau’s mission or approved of it. According to Gourdreau both President Trump and VP Pence knew and approved of the plan, as did Guaido.
All officials have denied detailed knowledge, especially since it resulted in Berry and Denman still being in Venezuelan jail and the combat death of an unknown number of Venezuelan fighters (at least six on the boat, but far more in other fighting). Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington had not direct hand in the raid.
What Happens Now?
The attempted raid also led to Maduro strengthening his stranglehold on the country. Despite being one of the most unstable and violent countries in South America, Maduro has an iron grip on the economically collapsing country since winning a fraudulent election in 2018.
The United States and 49 other countries regard Guaido as the legal ruler of Venezuela, but the possibility of invading Venezuela with US forces – which would require a massive troop and military commitment – was ultimately not pursued by the Trump Administration.
Denman and Berry are both still in prison in Venezuela. They have both been convicted of terrorism and arms smuggling by the Venezuelan government and sentenced to 20 years in jail, along with 17 other Venezuelans who took part in Operation Gideon.
As for Goudreau, while he is angry about the mission’s failure he believes they almost succeeded and if they had everyone from Trump to all Americans would have been very proud.
“Do you think that Donald Trump would have said, ‘That wasn’t us’? Every motherf–ker that I talked to would have said, ‘That was us! USA, baby!’ They would have taken credit for all of it,” Goudreau said. “And if you say it’s not true, you’re pretty naive.”