CARACAS. Members of Venezuela’s opposition negotiated a $ 213 million deal in October with a small Florida security company to invade the country and overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, according to a document published by the Washington Post newspaper.
Venezuelan authorities have detained 23 people in recent days, including two Americans working for the Florida-based Silvercorp company, after a failed raid that has served as a public relations victory for the Maduro government.
The document strikes at the credibility of opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who denied any connection to Silvercorp or his involvement in the episode.
Guaidó, president of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, argues that Maduro usurps power after manipulating the 2018 elections. The leader is recognized by dozens of countries as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.
The plan outlined in a 42-page document published by the newspaper provides minute details such as what land mines to deploy and what riot gear to use, but does not give an explanation of how a small group of commandos could dominate hundreds of thousands of security officers who they remain loyal to the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
“The group of service providers will advise and assist the group of partners in the planning, execution and operation to capture / detain / eliminate Nicolás Maduro (hereinafter ‘main objective’), eliminate the current regime and install the renowned Venezuelan president Juan Guaidó, ”says the document, which . could not confirm its authenticity.
The Post said the services agreement, signed by Guaidó, had been provided by Silvercorp director Jordan Goudreau, who publicly acknowledged his leadership in the operation.
Airan Berry, 41, one of two Americans detained Monday in an area off the central Venezuelan coast, said the objectives of the group that carried out the raid were to control the Military Counterintelligence Directorate of the Intelligence Service, the Miraflores presidential palace and the tower of a capital airport, according to excerpts from an interrogation broadcast on television.
Berry ratified what was said on Wednesday by the 34-year-old Luke Denman, the other captured American, who appeared on Wednesday in a video on Venezuelan state television saying that Silvercorp had entrusted him with the task of controlling the airport to fly Maduro to United States.
Opposition parties said in a statement that “the democratic forces do not promote or finance guerrillas, outbreaks of violence, or paramilitary groups.”