Inside an ex-Green Beret’s bizarre, failed attempt to oust Venezuela’s Maduro

An ex-Green Beret leading a ragtag army on a failed attempt to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro: It’s a tale packed with enough action for Hollywood — and it’s true.

Bronze Star recipient Jordan Goudreau hatched his simple-but-misguided plan last year, hoping to replace Maduro with opposition leader Juan Guaidó,

Goudreau, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, figured some 300 heavily armed volunteer soldiers would sneak into Venezuela from Colombia and raid Venezuela’s military bases one by one — sparking a popular rebellion that would topple Maduro, an Associated Press investigation found.

The former soldier found an unlikely partner in Cliver Alcalá, a Venezuelan military deserter and suspected narcoterrorist, who provided the soldiers.

Goudreau, 43, fixed his sights on Venezuela in 2019 after attending a concert there in support of Guaidó, who the U.S. and 60 other countries recognized as the country’s rightful leader after a fraud-riddled election the year before.

Goudreau bragged about having a connection to President Donald Trump, but the AP found no indication that the U.S. backed Goudreau or that the White House authorized any covert operations against Maduro.

To Goudreau, who now runs a security firm in Florida, his call to arms was perfect. Instead, the plot crashed and burned.

In early March, Colombian police arrested some of the volunteer soldiers. The rest, broke and worried about contracting coronavirus, fled their camps and blamed Goudreau for leading them astray.

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