Photo: El Cooperante

The Aftermath of Macuto Bay

Highly questionable evidence and confessions flooded state media. About coronavirus, Cepella or Petare, they said little or nothing

  • On Monday morning, Remigio Ceballos announced that the new phase of military exercises would incorporate actions as required by Nicolás, including over 25,000 troops in an operation to “guarantee that our territory (…) is free of mercenaries, paramilitaries and any other threat.” Between Ceballos’s testimony and the release of a photo with the image of dead captain Robert Colina, AKA Pantera, not that much time went by. Then, the capture of eight other conspirators was announced, this time in Chuao (Aragua state). Even though these conspirators had an arsenal, they were caught by local fishermen, one day after the alleged attempt through Macuto. Antonio Sequera, who deserted in April 2019, is among the detainees and was used to record a shameful video showing several dozen men taking him from a helicopter to a truck. Soon after, the regime said that two other alleged mercenaries were captured in Puerto Cruz and Aragua, and they also had subversive equipment. 
  • The state’s main TV station, VTV, used this story as backbone all day, mentioning Jordan Goudreau several times. Chavismo decided to immediately take him for the author of operation Gedeón (which culminated in the siege and killing of rebel police officer Óscar Pérez and his men), believing the contract he showed on Sunday night (allegedly as revenge for overdue payment) and also believing the goal he was hired to achieve: overthrowing the government. On Twitter, Diosdado Cabello led the chavista narrative about the detention in Chuao, mentioning the arrests of two American citizens (Luke Denman and Aaron Barry), General Baduel’s son, Josnars Adolfo Baduel and Captain Pimienta. We don’t know the names of the men who were detained or murdered on Sunday, except the picture of murdered captain Robert Colina. Their families recorded audios and videos demanding respect for their lives. 
  • Cabello shared a piece of a “confession” to humiliate one of the detainees. The video shows technical issues, but apparently, what’s important is that the man “confesses” what the U.S. is doing: “They are the middle men (…) of the President of the United States’ chief of security.” The interviewer interrupted him and asked: “Who told you that? Say that again!” and the detainee adds: “They said they work as security advisors of the President of the U.S.” Later that day, a couple of rebels were detained in Puerto Cruz, Vargas state, and even though their names weren’t released, they showed pictures of what they seized: weapons, bulletproof vests, and communications equipment. Macuto, Chuao and Puerto Cruz. Three attempts, three failures, in two days. 
  • Earlier on Tuesday, the regime issued a statement saying the operation “was planned in Colombia by U.S. agents” and that “one of the detainees has confessed being a former DEA agent.” 
  • The Supreme Tribunal of Justice also issued a statement rejecting the armed attempt and ratifying its support for Nicolás and Vladimir Padrino López.
  • Juan Guaidó’s team, in another statement, denies any ties with SilverCorp and the company’s owner, Jordan Goudreau. They say “it had been infiltrated and had a direct relationship with Clíver Alcalá”. 
  • Nicolás attended the Non-Aligned Movement Summit and denounced the “terrorist mercenaries,” saying that they trained in Colombian soil, financed by the U.S. and Colombian governments. 
  • ANC-imposed attorney general Tarek William Saab said that political parties Voluntad Popular and Primero Justicia are involved in the uprising. He said that they seized ten rifles, a 9mm gun, two machine guns, six trucks, one boat and cartridges. He said that since 2018, they’ve performed 114 arrests and issued 92 warrants for people involved in conspiracies against Nicolás, not counting the men detained in Macuto. 
  • Juan Guaidó demanded respect for the rights of the detainees. “We demand human rights and fundamental guarantees are respected for the people captured in the last few hours. The track record of Maduro’s dictatorship includes torture, forced disappearances and extrajudiciary executions,” says the statement. 
  • After his interview with Patricia Poleo, Jordan Goudreau talked to Bloomberg and said there are 52 men involved in his suicide mission, including two Americans who were already captured. Goudreau said, bringing much joy to chavismo: “The main goal was liberating Venezuela, capturing Maduro (…) The second part was establishing insurgent camps against Maduro, they’re already in camps, they’re already recruiting and we’ll start to attack important targets.” He reiterated that he’s talking about this because he didn’t receive payment and added that he’s fighting an information war against the people who allegedly hired him. He didn’t skip mentioning Cliver Alcalá Cordones or how they epically failed in their attempts to explain to Donald Trump their plans for Venezuela. Contradicting his goal of advertising Silvercorp, what Goudeau is doing keeps potential customers away. Let the record show that Goudreau didn’t talk to AP. 
  • Nicolás reminded everyone last night about AP’s piece on the magnicide attempt quashed in late March. He said that President Iván Duque came back from Washington with “orders to set Venezuela on fire” and that’s why the terrorist plan was reactivated. Three other things: he assumed that looking after his power was the same as looking after the country, he explained how infiltrated the conspirators were (he still wants to be seen as a victim, but if he knew all of it, then he was never in danger) and he was offended by collective incredulity considering the events, making jokes about it. He ratified that Goudreau’s mercenary condition doesn’t take truth away from his testimony, he accused the U.S. of financing the operation (and assumed their silence as evidence of guilt) and he also said that Luke Denman and Aaron Barry “confessed that they’re part of Trump’s security team.”
  • Believe it or not, all of the evidence of this “terrorist operation” was in Miraflores, on a table so Nicolás could play with it as he pleased: IDs, passports, photos, ammo, etc. Since these events are the only thing that matters to chavismo now, on May 4th the COVID-19 report was done by Delcy Rodríguez on Twitter at 10:50 p.m.: “We want to report that in the last 24 hours we’ve detected four new cases of COVID-19.” The number of cases in total increased to 361.
  • Provea demanded respect and protection of human rights for the people detained in the insurrection. Chavismo attacked the NGO, because according to it, the terrorist features of the detainees justify mistreatment. Demanding respect and warning about the dangers of forced disappearances and torture isn’t a crime. We know what chavismo’s track record on the subject is like, unfortunately.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.