Two American Veterans Arrested in Venezuela

| May 6, 2020

According to Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, a couple of Americans were arrested in a failed mercenary invasion against Venezuela. They are suspected of trying to topple Nicolas Maduro and his government. Others have been arrested along with them.

Nicolas Maduro is blaming Juan Guaido for funding this invasion attempt. He also accuses neighboring Columbia of being behind this invasion. This is where the invasion “began”. Both Juan Guaido and Columbia disagree with these claims.

From Yahoo:

On Sunday, Venezuela claimed a group traveling on speedboats and embarking from Colombia tried to land before dawn in the northern coastal state of La Guaira but were intercepted by the military and special police units.

Diosdado Cabello, deputy leader of the ruling Socialist Party, claimed the operation was “orchestrated” by the United States and its Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), with Colombian support.

Colombia denied any involvement, while Maduro claimed on Monday that the mission’s aim was to assassinate him.

Venezuela frequently accuses Colombia of fomenting plots to overthrow the Maduro government and of allowing mercenaries to train in its territory.

Saab said authorities had detained 114 people and issued warrants for the arrest of 92 others accused of involvement in plots against Maduro and his regime since an alleged assassination attempt using explosives-laden drones in 2018.

He added that Venezuela had seized arms during the apparent invasion that were stolen from parliament during a failed military uprising led by Guaido last year.

More information can be read here. In this second Yahoo article, President Trump said that the United States was not associated with this operation. The article lists the detained Americans as former U.S. Soldiers.


Category: Venezuela, Veterans in the news

Comments (61)

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  1. AW1Ed says:

    Of all the places I’d rather not be, a Venezuelan prison ranks pretty high on the list.

  2. Hondo says:

    The merc game is a risky one.

    If that’s what was going on, no sympathy here.

  3. Combat Historian says:

    Every merc wants to be Mad Mike, but usually ends up as a Daniel Gearhart…

    • FuzeVT says:

      Had to look those up. Seems Mike just passed away at the ripe old age of 100 in February.

  4. MI Ranger says:

    I have been following this for a couple days now. My initial thoughts were this is just Maduro and his ravings…then I thought, ok maybe it is some SF wannabe trying to go live his fantasy. Yesterday when they released the guys name, it turns out he actually is a former SF Soldier, who runs a security company in Florida, and got the bright idea after someone offered up a few hundred Mercenaries. Funny how only the three American buddies got caught!? Can we say set up! How much military experience do you have to have to actually sneak in to Venezuela? Daylight on a bunch of speed boats, unless you are dressed in board shorts and sunglasses does not sound very covert!!!

    • AW1Ed says:

      Jeff LPH 3 sent me a link about this the other day, but I didn’t get to it right away, and now I’m ‘scooped’ by thebesig.
      As usual.

      • atlanticcoast63 says:

        MI Ranger.

        My apologies, i fat fingered ‘report’ on your reply. Mods, please disregard the report.

        And BTW this whole thing gets even loopier – apparently some of there lads were Tweeting the ‘operation ‘

  5. 5th/77th FA says:

    Pretty damn sure I wouldn’t want to be in a Venezuelan prison either. Not much of an invasion force either. I smell setup all around. But going by the comments in the linky, it is all Trump, all the way. And of course, more Gringo interference of a freedom loving South American Country and its duly elected government. /s/

  6. Slow Joe says:

    I don’t know what you guys are talking about.

    Mercs today work for PMCs, private military companies, and I extremely doubt any of them are going to do something as amateurish as sending 2 guys to “invade” Venezuela.

    PMC are security companies. That’s how they make money. There is no money in sending a couple guys to Venezuela.

    What I think *might* have happened?

    Some rich Venezuelan dude in Miami paid a couple of veterans out of a job to go into Venezuela and extract some relatives.

    Well, not rich since all the rich people got their families out of there years ago. More likely some guy that was saving money for 10 years to be able to afford an extraction on the cheap, which more likely included renting a boat in Colombia.

    Desperate people do desperate things, which almost always fail to succeed, and likely included breaking the law in several countries.

    • Slow Joe says:

      Or, the veterans were not veterans and faked military service to get hired for this job, whatever it entailed.

    • Mason says:

      CIA often hires people to do their dirty work. Plausible deniability if they aren’t actual government agents or legit contractors. This is not out of the realm of possibility.

      I’m suspect it’s an actual sanctioned op, because these guys didn’t get very far. I’d hope they’d pick better teams than a group that speedboats their way directly into prison.

      • Slow Joe says:

        I don’t see any evidence of US involvement in this op.

        Occam’s razor dictates this is either completely made up by Maduro’s regime as a psyop against their domestic opposition, or a poorly planned private extraction op.

        Those two are by far the most common ops that occur in socialist countries, exceeded only by local dudes trying to get the funk away on their own, which doesn’t seem to apply in this case.

        No conspiracy theory is needed to explain this.

  7. Commissar says:

    The two veterans are apparently former SF. Madura released the names on national TV.

    This clearly was not an “invasion”.

    I think it was an infiltration or extraction gone wrong. Given how substantially it went wrong and two teams were compromised, I suspect they were compromised by an insider or contact.

  8. thebesig says:

    Not much OPSEC involved:

    A key figure behind the plot is Jordan Goudreau, a former U.S. Green Beret who runs Silvercorp USA, a Florida-based private security firm. From Florida, Goudreau announced the incursion alongside a former Venezuelan national guard officer in a video on Sunday and told reporters that the ongoing operation had the support and encouragement of the Venezuelan opposition, including opposition leader Juan Guaidó. (Guaidó’s office has denied any contact with Goudreau or signing any agreement with him, but various people familiar with the situation allege that there were direct contacts between Goudreau and other members of the opposition last year.)

    “The main mission was to liberate Venezuela, to capture Maduro, but the mission in Caracas failed,” Goudreau told Bloomberg News. “The secondary mission is to set up insurgency camps against Maduro. They are already in camps, they are recruiting and we are going to start attacking tactical targets.”

    • Mason says:

      No longer a quiet professional is he?

      Not a great way to advertise your “security” firm by having your team arrested before making landfall.

      • Hack Stone says:

        Sounds like someone who would go on a military blog asking for information on people who post, then going on that blog to announce when and where the hit by “crackheads with blowtorches and pliers” will be exacting their vengeance on some innocent soul who just wanted to be the best darned Director Of Media Relations for a proud but humble woman owned business that formerly sold software to the Federal Government. Just wondering if Phil Monkress, with his US Navy SEAL skillz, is somehow involved.

  9. Roh-Dog says:

    Brought to you by the same people that couldn’t take out the fat bastard with their remote control IEDs.
    What happened to the Company…? Smh

    • USAF E-5 says:

      They stopped spending on humint and spent big on elint. Guess how that’s working out?

      • Roh-Dog says:

        I learned first hand in Iraq. A whole lotta dry holes and goat f*cks.
        And those geniuses decide to pay the Sunnis to not blow us up, I worked my fair share of “Sons of Iraq” paydays handing out freshly minted US $100 bills to retard wife beaters wearing man dresses and flip flops that hadn’t showered in weeks.
        At the time the BATS/HiDE system was tits up so instead of gathering rental scans and digital finger prints yours truly had to manually finger print 100 of those turds…

        ….in August.
        This is why I drink.

  10. thebesig says:

    Something like this takes time to set up and evolve. The article makes it sound like a couple of US Veterans decided to “waltz right in” with “300 untrained men”. They should have known better. Maduro is using this as a propaganda bonanza.

    This story has videos, photos, and graphics. What were these folks thinking? One of them apparently served for 17 years.

    The moment two U.S. former special forces soldiers were arrested in Venezuela was dramatically caught on video as their ‘plot to assassinate President Nicolás Maduro’ was foiled.

    The footage shows Luke Denman, 34, and Airan Berry, 41, being led from a fishing boat alongside six Venezuelan mercenaries and being forced to lie on the ground at gunpoint.

    The coup was coordinated by an ex-Green Beret named Jordan Goudreau, 43, who says the objective was to capture Maduro. Goudreau claims to have built a force of 300 men, reportedly backed by US billionaires.

    President Maduro called the arrested men ‘terrorist mercenaries’ and blamed the attacks on the Trump administration, Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó and neighboring Colombia, all of which have denied involvement. The U.S. has backed Guaidó as the country’s leader.

    • thebesig says:

      Airan Berry is listed as someone who was a Sergeant First Class who served from 1996 to 2013. However, he is listed as a Sergeant, not a Sergeant First Class. He may have been an SFC but got busted, or he may have served less time than claimed, and only went up to sergeant.

      Luke Denman is accurately listed as having been an SSG.

      • Mason says:

        17 years is an odd time to bug out of your own accord.

        Barring the RIF early retirement some lucky SOBs around here got. 😉

    • Slow Joe says:

      I really don’t like that dude, Jordan Goudreau.

      Something is off with him. Perhaps his love for the limelight.

      If any of this is true, no good leader send two guys out to die.
      Regardless of how stupid they might have been, he must have lied to them. Promised shit that was never gonna happen.

  11. Skippy says:


  12. thebesig says:

    Video of detention, and Maduro conference:

    • thebesig says:

      The veterans that were detained may have been special forces before. Now they’re “thhpeethal fourthhes”. 🙄

  13. thebesig says:

    A longer video fo the detention:

    • rgr769 says:

      I assume you know who Democracy Now is. Why would we want to watch their agitprop in favor of communists everywhere? Their idea of democracy is the kind practiced by Maduro.

      • thebesig says:

        I just discovered their vid today looking for videos involving the veterans’ arrest. Listening to their commentary, they did have a pro-Maduro slant.

        However, they covered a lot of what happened with the folk that got arrested.

        I do have a PSYOP background. Listening to foreign propaganda is a must if one is to adjust and provide a more effective argument against it. I’ve seen/viewed propaganda from the Chinese, radical Islamists, etc.

      • timactual says:

        What was the ‘agitprop’ in that video? Looks pretty standard to me; uniformed police/army with prisoners. Was there an alternate source for video and other information?

  14. Tony180A says:

    Just my 2 cents. 3 former members of an SF CRF are no strangers to these type of operations. My hunch is somewhere along official channels Goudreau received a wink and a nod. To think that Silvercorp could openly recruit, train and launch from Colombia without someone in an official capacity greasing the skids doesn’t pass the smell test.

    I imagine somewhere within the American Embassy in Bogata the Station Chief and RSO are saying, “Silvercorp….Goudreau who????? Never heard of them”.

  15. Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

    Puts me in mind of Mr Udesky (Michael Jeter) in Jurassic Park III.

  16. When I sent the story to Ed, I mentioned as an afterthought that the word Mercenary is now passe and the new word is contractor. I also mentioned that the guy setting this up should have called the late Col. Mike Hoare of 5 Commando if he was still alive. Now that man was the real deal of “Mercenary” legends.

    • SFC D says:

      If they’re employed by the US government, they’re “contractors”.

      If they’re employed by anyone else, they’re “mercenaries”.

  17. rgr769 says:

    If the U.S. was trying to take down Maduro with some kind of raid using SF, there would have been more than three ex-SF NCO’s involved. At least three ODA’s would have been involved with a lot more than a few hundred indigenous soldiers. They also wouldn’t have been training with broomsticks because they didn’t have rifles. This fiasco could not have been sanctioned even by those buffoons and incompetents at Langley.

    • Tony180A says:

      rgr769 I respectfully beg to differ just what those buffoons at Langley will sanction.. at your expense of course.

      You really think the Station Chief and Regional Security Officer at the American embassy in Bogota had no idea Columbia was the recruiting, training and staging base for this clusterfuck?

      Quite sure Operation CYA is in full effect.

      • Roh-Dog says:

        I would be surprised if an outside vendor was putting up the money and the Embassy ‘looked the other way’ because the were instructed to.
        But I read too much Clancy.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          Or, Maduro got tired of waiting for Trump to fall for his antics and provide some much needed “external threat” diversion, so he simply paid a few dipshits to stir up more dipshits and produce the needed “failed invasion”.

          Which better fits the observed events and requires less complicated activities?

          They were set up and used.

          • Roh-Dog says:

            Interesting point…what do you think the gig paid? Asking for a friend.
            He’s unstable and is looking for ‘dirty work’.
            Do you think they’ll be traded for or is this their last Op?
            Either way, my friend is still interested in employment details.

            • Tony180A says:

              Be interesting to follow the money trail and see what other contracts Silvercorp USA has been awarded. Understanding the disbursements of certain pots of money will never be disclosed.

      • rgr769 says:

        I don’t doubt the U.S. intel community was aware this “operation” was suspected or going on. My point is this is not the way our government carries out this type of military operation. I am sure if there were those who knew about it, they likely hoped it would succeed. But it is obvious from what I read that it wasn’t funded by the U.S., unless the objective was to get the participants captured or killed. But then maybe the people at Langley are more incompetent than back in my day, if that is possible.

    • golferboy says:

      Yea, no way would we try to overthrow a legit government with such a pathetic and shitty force in Venezuela. Oh, wait: we did just that in January 2019 and it failed just as spectacularly.

      This wouldn’t be the first time Trump tried regime change, and it won’t be the last.

  18. 26Limabeans says:

    So I guess Bo Gritz is a bit old (81) for this
    sort of thing. Surprised no one mentioned him.

    • rgr769 says:

      I certainly thought about him. I doubt even he would have signed off on such a pathetic attempt.

  19. SFC D says:

    This is a job for Roland and Van Owen.

  20. The Other Whitey says:

    Never have your own guys pull the trigger. Hire 3rd-party foreign nationals to recruit other 3rd-party* foreign nationals to be the trigger men. That’s Spy Shit 101.

    I would hope our various intelligence agencies know better than that. But you never know these days…

    * Would that make them 6th-party (3+3) or 9th-party (3×3)?