Does a contract exist between an American security firm and an insurgent group headed by Juan Guaidó, the man who wants to overthrow Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro? Liberty Nation uncovered a copy of a contract between the two parties. We cannot speak to its veracity, nor can we identify the specific purpose of the document as those crucial pages have mysteriously disappeared. However, an in-depth look at the recent actions and contradictions of the players in the plot and the signatories of the contract, provide a tale of international intrigue involving drugs and TV commentators caught up in a failed clandestine coup.
Who are the players, and what are their assigned roles? What governments are involved and why? All good questions worth examining.
If the contract is genuine, it points to a coordinated effort to take down Nicolás Maduro and could lead to the destabilization of international relations among several countries. For his part, Juan Guaidó has declared that no such contract exists, refuting the socialist leader’s claims of a U.S.-backed effort to take him out. U.S. government officials who prefer to remain anonymous tell Liberty Nation that they are, “very emphatic that as President Trump said, ‘Whatever it is, we’ll let you know. But it has nothing to do with our government.’ Having said that, there is speculation that perhaps Columbia might have provided some help or encouragement. Columbia has been overwhelmed with Venezuelan refugees — five million strong — and is keen on seeing the Maduro government replaced.”
A Narco-terrorist Plot?
This whole scheme appears to have been put in motion by disgruntled former Venezuelan soldier Cliver Alcalá, who claimed to have established a 300-person militia whose mission was the capture and removal of Maduro as president. It is from this small troop – coupled with two American mercenaries — that the plot thickens. Here are the players, along with their possible roles:
Cliver Alcalá – Front Man
Cliver Alcalá is a retired Major-General of the Venezuelan Army; he also happens to have been indicted last month by U.S. prosecutors along with President Maduro for running a “narcoterrorist conspiracy” that sent hundreds of tons of cocaine to America every year.
Jordan Goudreau – Founder, Silvercorp USA
Trying to publicly fundraise while allegedly involved in a clandestine operation is a recipe for catastrophe. Just how this debacle got off the ground remains unclear, but tweeting out plans in advance for an undercover operation is an excellent place to start looking for trouble. Goudreau made videos for social media, sent his top men into the operation armed with American passports but forgot to fill the tank with enough boat fuel to carry out the plan. Thus, it’s easy to understand why Silvercorp USA’s so-called “Operation Gideon” was doomed to failure.
Juan Guaidó – Venezuelan Opposition Leader
During a virtual session of the National Assembly on May 5, Juan Guaidó flatly denied that he has any relationship with Silvercorp USA. He pointed out that Maduro’s government knew of the plot, admitted that Venezuelan forces had infiltrated it, and then waited to slaughter the people involved.
An investigative report conducted by the Associated Press published in The Washington Post read: “Through a spokesman, Guaidó stood by comments made to Colombian media that he never signed any contract of the kind described by Alcalá, whom he said he doesn’t know. Meanwhile, Alcalá has offered no evidence and the alleged contract has yet to emerge, though AP repeatedly asked Goudreau for a copy.”
Contrary to the AP report, a copy of the alleged contract has been discovered.
The American Mercenaries
The two Americans captured by Maduro’s forces have been identified as Airan Berry and Luke Denman, both former U.S. Special Forces. Venezuela was able to identify the men so quickly because they were apparently carrying their passports and other identification as they attempted to carry out their mission. According to Maduro, they admitted their role in Operation Gideon and explained that they were employed by the company Silvercorp USA.
Reports indicate that the men were captured, along with their Venezuelan colleagues, by a group of patriotic fishermen who just happened to be holding a military readiness drill that day.
While this appears to be a service contract to the tune of almost $213 million, it perhaps raises more questions than it answers. Not included are the missing pages that would supposedly detail what services were actually being offered. If this is, in fact, Guaidó’s signature, it suggests that an arrangement was made with Silvercorp USA, despite his denials.
Here are the other signatories of the contract:
Juan Jose Rendon
Juan Jose Rendon (known as J.J. Rendon), is a Venezuelan political strategist who has appeared on CNN Espanol on numerous occasions. His Twitter account has been inactive since December last year until just two days ago when he “liked” several posts by other users signaling the discovery of these contracts. Rendon’s website, jjrendon.com, has been “suspended.”
One post he “liked” contained his signature on the contract:
Another post he “liked” was in response to a tweet saying (translated): “If it is true of that contract, it is the last straw that is disclosed. If that’s the plan @jguaido It would be to applaud him, not to crucify him. And if it is true, it is also logical that he deny it. Something like that can never be disclosed. This news should be reserved by any libertarian.”
These “likes” suggest he supports the veracity of the contract.
Manuel J. Retureta is a D.C. lawyer who frequently appears in the media to discuss various topics, such as the Michael Cohen testimony on CNN, and the impeachment trial of President Trump, also on CNN. His corporate Twitter account, which closely matches his personal account, appears dedicated to two things. First, touting Retureta’s CNN appearances. Second, talking down President Trump.
In 2018, Retureta was the defense attorney for Tony Hernandez, the now-convicted drug trafficker who flooded the U.S. with literally tons of cocaine. Hernandez just happens to be the brother of Juan Orlando Hernandez, the President of Honduras. It is curious that these charges are the same that have been leveled at President Maduro.
The Venezuelan politician Sergio Vergara has been sending out messages suggesting that the whole plot against Maduro was staged to distract attention from the Gunare prison riot in which scores of prisoners were killed. This assertion was backed up by Guaidó who replied to Vergara’s tweet saying:
“There are obvious questions:
Invasion by the sea and instead of appearing the High Command, the Navy, the FAES comes out?
Whose corpse do they display and who murdered him?
They arrive in Macuto, from Colombia?
Why were the residents of the area warned that a drill was coming?”
A Tangled Web is Woven
There are some clear irregularities:
- Guaidó insists he has not signed a contract – but Rendon is “liking” tweets that show his own signature on the contract.
- Maduro has been charged with coordinating operations in Honduras and Columbia to flood the U.S. with cocaine – and the witness signature on the contract is from the man who defended the Honduran president’s brother for trafficking cocaine.
- It appears that of the five names on the contract, two suggest it’s real, two say it doesn’t exist, and the remaining man may well end up representing Maduro himself if he is ever brought to trial in the U.S.
The ultimate question is whether this contract is a genuine document, and if so, why do the signatories appear at odds with each other? The contradictions and denials are too obvious to ignore. While we know the sad ending of this tale regarding the effort to overthrow the brutal Nicolás Maduro regime, there remain a number of missing pieces to the puzzle which may or may not ever see the light of day.
Read more from Mark Angelides.