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No US Involvement at All’, COO of Firm Behind Botched Venezuela Raid Says

by Oleg Burunov

President Nicolas Maduro has accused the US of being the mastermind behind the planned incursion in Venezuela, but Washington denies any involvement in the botched raid.

In an interview with the news website Grayzone’s Anya Parampil, Drew White, the chief operating officer (COO) of the private military company Silvercorp USA, asserted that there was “no US [offcials] involvement” in the failed attempt to kidnap Venezuelan President Maduro “at all”. Silvercorp USA is suspected of being involved in the plan.

White, in particular, referred to his contacts with “great guy” and former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau who was earlier exposed by the AP news agency as a man who could be behind the botched raid in Venezuela.

“And then he [Goudreau] contacted me about this Venezuelan operation which appeared at the moment to be a State Department operation, right? Well I started to look into it, the contract didn’t line up. So we broke ways there and then I didn’t, you know get involved in the actual operation… it didn’t seem like a sanctioned operation”, White, who is also an ex-Green Beret, said.

According to him, “it was a contract that was presented as a State Department contract. I just didn’t see it as that. It did not appear to be a State Department contract”.

The COO noted that he doesn’t know the relationship between Goudreau and US President Trump’s personal bodyguard Keith Schiller, adding, “as far as the US working with Silvercorp, I’ve never seen a State Department contract, ever”.

White underscored that when “it [the planned operation to oust Maduro] seemed that it wasn’t a State Department activity”, he allegedly decided that he could not “be a part of any of this” and that he did not “want anything to do with it”.

Silvercorp USA’s Involvement in Failed Venezuela Raid

The interview comes after Venezuelan television earlier this week broadcast footage of the confession of Silvercorp USA mercenary Luke Alexander Denman, one of the US citizens captured in the aftermath of last Sunday’s botched raid in the South American country.

According to the mercenary, the plan was to kidnap Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, get him on a plane and take him back to the US for prosecution

Goudreau, for his part, admitted to Silvercorp’s involvement in the botched Venezuelan raid, saying that he was hired for the job by the Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido, who enjoys the full support of the US but denies hiring Silvercorp. In April 2019, Guaido tried to topple Maduro’s government, but the coup ultimately failed.

The White House, in turn, rejected any involvement in the mercenary plot, with President Trump telling reporters that the arrest of the two US nationals allegedly involved in the plan “has nothing to do with our government”. Colombia has similarly dismissed any connection to the botched operation