The cherry on top.

Photo: CNN es Español

Maduro Ties Violence in Petare with Operation Gedeon

They released over 20 prisoners from El Helicoide yesterday, while the details, blame and insults consequence of the Macutazo made the rounds and coronavirus continues to spread in Latin America, including Venezuela

  • Nicolás announced the capture of four people allegedly involved in Operation Gedeón and assured that the Bolivarian Shield military exercises “are still active to fight any other attempt to destabilize the country.” Without presenting evidence, he said that president Trump and Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, are behind this military incursion. He also said that Jordan Goudreau, who’s claiming to be the author of the operation, has worked in Trump’s security team and “he negotiated with the opposition thanks to the Department of State.” He showed Luke Alexander Denman’s testimony, one of the Americans detained, who said that Goudreau would pay them “50 to 100 thousand dollars for the job.” Nicolás showed the contract (!) that went viral on Twitter, assured the detainees would be tried in civilian courts and that they’re being treated well “with respect (…) They have confessed… in shock because of how they were received by the people in Chuao.” Nicolás added that he’ll ask for Jordan Goudreau’s extradition from the U.S.
  • Nicolás also showed a video where Luke Alexander Denman says that he trained 70 people for the alleged incursion in Riohacha (Colombia). The goal was capturing Maduro. Even though no Colombian citizens were captured, Nicolás insists: “There’s no doubt that Iván Duque was involved in the operation.” That’s why he ordered his Foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, to sue the American government before the ICJ and assured that he’d go to the UN Security Council to denounce the U.S. and Colombia for being involved in Operation Gedeón. He called Juan Guaidó a criminal and said that the Prosecutor’s Office should consider putting him in jail. He said that Juvenal Sequea, deputy Hernán Alemán and Alexander Ruso had been captured in Colombia, and they allegedly prepared the drone for the magnicide attempt of 2018. He announced that they’ll all be expelled from Colombia in the next few hours. 
  • After a week of silence, Nicolás spoke about the violence in Caracas’s José Félix Ribas slum. He didn’t apologize or offer solutions, he just blamed the violence on the new people who are guilty of everything, the detainees of this weekend, based on a video where José Alberto Socorro (AKA Pepero) says he was carrying out orders by the DEA and the warlord of sorts from the slum, Wilexis, would create a clash to distract security bodies and allow the invasion through Macuto. Socorro was identified as a man tied to Nicolás’s nephews in 2016, during the trial in the U.S.; nobody explained how he made it into this group of rebels or why he’s saying he’s a DEA agent. Nicolás ordered Interior minister Néstor Reverol to “go with everything we’ve got against these gangs.” Hours later, NTN24 shared Wilexis Acevedo’s surrender, after a clash against rival criminal Gusano for control over the community. The version that has been shared the most is that Gusano was sent by chavismo to dethrone Wilexis, because he doesn’t support the regime anymore. Wilexis said, among other things: “Nobody here is with the DEA or Guaidó, what we want is peace for the community and, setting the record straight, Wilexis isn’t sponsored by the DEA or Guaidó, and he isn’t against Maduro either, that’s very important.” 
  • AP shared yesterday that Jordan Goudreau, the military strategist who launched a suicide mission two days after AP reported it, only did it to prove he was angry about not getting paid and is now under investigation by the American federal police for weapon trafficking. The investigation is in its early stages and we don’t know if he’d be charged. The U.S. Congress is also asking the State Department about their knowledge of Goudreau’s plans and expressed their concern for breaking the law, as the approval that is required to supply guns or military equipment or military consulting for foreigners. Goudreau’s interviews are evidence and he hasn’t been discreet. 
  • The Washington Post wrote about opposition representatives, appointed by Guaidó, who met in September 2019 with Jordan Goudreau, and “presented a plan that could have worked as a Jack Ryan screenplay”, including having 800 men to infiltrate the regime and overthrow NIcolás, says Juan José Rendón, political consultant. In October, they had a signed agreement, which Rendón calls “a rehearsal capsule,” that was never green-lit. Soon after signing it, says Rendón, Goudreau started acting erratically. He couldn’t show evidence of the financial support he said he had and demanded an immediate payment of 1.5 million dollars. Rendón wired him $50,000 for “expenses” but the relationship fractured. In early November, the opposition considered the operation dead, says Rendón. It was, until Sunday morning. 
  • Last night, JJ Rendón was interviewed by Fernando del Rincón and assured that it’s his signature in the contract that has made the rounds on social media, he reiterated it’s an exploration contract that wasn’t perfected or executed and its purpose was “capturing and bringing members of the regime to justice.” Rendón’s confession (in addition to what he already said to TWP) makes it hard to trust the communiqué by Juan Guaidó’s team, poorly written, by the way. If several people from Guaidó’s circle knew or were involved in any way in this plan that they later discarded, an explanation is mandatory, from Rendón’s payment, to the “support” of deputy Hernán Alemán and the new light that it shines on Iván Simonovis’s stance. If an uprising was an option, at any moment, they have to explain it. 
  • Over 20 inmates were released from El Helicoide on Tuesday morning, reported Foro Penal. At least three political prisoners were released. 
  • The regime released journalist Ana Belén Tovar, Operations manager at Venemedios and editor of Entorno Inteligente, after five months of jail. She never should have been in prison. 
  • Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López attacked Juan Guaidó on Twitter: “Have an iota of decency and don’t deny something you can’t hide! Your ties to paramilitaries, drug trafficking and many other crimes against our country are an attack against Venezuelans.” He added that history has examples of how desperation leads to irrationality and assured that Guaidó “will find his special place in the history of ignominy,” meaning political ineptitude which translates into cowardice, treason and irresponsibility, and to me, that sounds like Nicolás. Maybe it’s just me. 
  • Espacio Público denounced that GNB officers detained José Vásquez for mentioning the gas shortage in Cantaura, Anzoátegui on Facebook and WhatsApp. He was charged with “instigation to commit a crime.” They demand two people post bail to impose a precautionary measure. 
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will use every option at their disposal to bring Americans detained in Venezuela for the alleged terrorist incursion on the weekend. Pompeo said that if the U.S. had been truly involved, the result would have been different. 
  • The international community should work together for “reactivating democracy in Venezuela” said President Duque on Wednesday, who insisted that efforts should be directed towards strengthening healthcare capacities at the border, moving more resources for the humanitarian crisis, and reassuring the process of reactivating democracy in Venezuela, which can’t be postponed any further. 
  • Jorge Arreaza asked the international community to condemn Iván Duque for attacking Venezuela and having ties with drug trafficking. 
  • Donald Trump nominated diplomat James Story as ambassador for Venezuela, who’d operate from Colombia. 
  • Nicolás’s Communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez reported there are 12 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 367 in Venezuela. Six cases in Nueva Esparta state, four in Bolívar state, one in Portuguesa state and one in Falcón state. Nueva Esparta already has 122 cases. There are over 3.7 million cases,  263,831 deaths and over 1.2 million recovered patients in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. There are over 1.2 million cases and 71,220 deaths in the U.S.; Brazil has had 8,536 deaths and over 125,218 cases, which makes it the next potential epicenter of the pandemic.  Peru has had over 51,100 cases and 1,444 deaths. Colombia has had 8,959 cases and 397 deaths.

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.