Government releases video in which ex-military reveals plan to kidnap the Venezuelan president and take him to the United States. Trump and other members of the American government vehemently deny any involvement of Washington. An ex-US military man currently detained in Venezuela said, in a video message released on Wednesday (06/05) by the government in Caracas, that he was part of a plan to capture President Nicolás Maduro, remove him from the country and take him to the United States.
Maduro said “mercenary terrorists” planned to overthrow his government
Photo: DW / Deutsche Welle
In the video, broadcast during a Maduro press conference, former US Army officer Luke Denman said he had received instructions from “his boss” to take control of Caracas airport to ensure Maduro’s safe passage and the arrival of planes.
It was not clear where or under what circumstances the video was recorded. Human rights groups often accuse the Maduro regime of resorting to coercion to extract confessions from suspects.
The Maduro government says Denman and another former American soldier, Airan Berry, were arrested on Monday, trying to land on a beach west of Caracas. Maduro described the group as “mercenary terrorists” who planned to overthrow his government.
Amid Maduro’s accusations, the US State Department said the Venezuelan government is waging a “major disinformation campaign” and that it is difficult to separate the facts from state propaganda.
The American explained that his part of the plan, described by the Venezuelan government as a failed invasion, consisted of establishing “self-security”, communicating with the airport towers that serve Caracas and “bringing the planes”.
“A [desses aviões] it was to take Maduro to the USA “, said the American in an interrogation with more than 30 questions that was filmed and shown in the state press.
In the video, Denman, 34, looked calm and lucid. He wore a gray shirt and answered a series of questions from behind the camera in English. He responded in English too, almost always looking directly at the camera.
Denman said he worked for Jordan Goudreau, a representative of the American company Silvercorp, on this plan, and claimed to have entered Venezuela with two compatriots – which would mean that there is still a fugitive in Venezuela.
When asked who commands Goudreau, Denman replied, “President Donald Trump.”
Maduro says it is impossible for the governments of the United States and Colombia to prove that they have no connection with the case because, according to him, “numerous evidences link them to the attack”, which occurred between Sunday and Monday on the coast of the states of La Guaira and Aragua .
Denman showed in the video of the interrogation a contract in which, according to him, the intention is to remove Maduro from Venezuela. The document would be signed by Goudreau, Venezuelan political advisor Juan José Rendón and opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
The Venezuelan government’s response to deter the alleged attempt to kidnap Maduro has so far killed eight people and has at least 19 detainees.
Trump and other members of the American government – including Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, and Mark Esper, secretary of defense – vehemently denied any involvement by Washington.
The case comes at a time of special tension between the United States and Venezuela. In March, the US Department of Justice accused Maduro and people close to him of “narcoterrorism” and other crimes, offering $ 15 million for information leading to the arrest of the Venezuelan president. In April, the United States sent warships off the Venezuelan coast in an important narcotics operation.
RPR / ap / efe
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Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international broadcaster and produces independent journalism in 30 languages.