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Venezuela failed coup : ex-American soldier, Jordan Goudreau, who organized the failed coup in Venezuela, bragged there were numerous “cells” still active in the country, ready to attack Maduro and his cronies and desperate for multimillion-dollar bounty

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Isabel Vincent

Jordan Goudreau, man behind Venezuela failed coup

 Goudreau himself strangely bragged about the coup in a tweet to President Trump on May 4: “Strikeforce incursion into Venezuela. 60 Venezuelan, 2 American ex Green Beret @realDonaldTrump”

The Canadian-born American soldier joined the Canadian Armed Forces while completing a computer science degree at the University of Calgary in the mid-1990s, according to his LinkedIn profile. A year later, in 1999, he moved to Bethesda, Maryland, where he worked as a systems analyst for Employee Health Programs, a drug testing firm.

Jordan Goudreau

But he longed for the battlefield, and two years later moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he trained at Fort Bragg to be a medical sergeant and “fire infantryman” assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group, an elite cadre of soldiers who specialize in unconventional warfare and counter terrorism.

He deployed to Iraq from November 2006 to April 2007 and served two tours in Afghanistan — in 2011 and 2014 — and was awarded with three Bronze Star medals. But his military career ended four years ago after he suffered a concussion in a parachuting accident and numerous back injuries.

“Jordan is the kind of dude who the military calls to do the top tier stuff that guys do that keep people safe,” friend Frank Riley told The Post. “He’s well trained and has a heart for people. He would give his life for his country.”

Another friend, who served with the former Green Beret in Iraq, remembered him as a fearless warrior. “He was incredible,” Drew White told Canada’s Globe and Mail last week. “He was who you wanted in the trenches with you.” White said that he and Goudreau also served with Berry and Denman in Iraq.

White, who now lives in Colorado and runs a home inspection company, teamed up with Goudreau after they retired from the military to start Silvercorp USA, a security firm launched in 2018, public records show. The Melbourne, Florida-based firm was incorporated on Feb. 26, 2018, days after the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead, records show.

Goudreau thought he had hit pay dirt with a scheme he devised to protect students from random shooters. He wanted to charge parents $8.99 each to embed former Special Forces soldiers at schools posing as teachers to gather intelligence from students that could uncover potential threats.

“The beauty of it is it’s all for the price of a Netflix subscription, so it’s really hard to argue with me about, ‘Well it costs too much.’ You can’t tell me that,” Goudreau told the Washington Post in November 2018, when he was pushing his services at an Orlando expo on school safety. When a colleague suggested Goudreau could go to school boards and the government for the cash, he responded vehemently. 

Jordan Goudreau (center) is pictured serving in the military.

“But we don’t want to,” he said. “We don’t want that. We want private money because it’s faster.”

Goudreau did need money fast. In 2018, he had debts that topped $100,000, said Riley, an Afghanistan War veteran who also helped Goudreau set up Silvercorp. That year, as he was launching his business, Goudreau moved in with Riley, who he had met through Warrior Games, a US Special Operations competition for wounded ex-combatants, Riley said. Goudreau used Riley’s address in Melbourne to incorporate Silvercorp, public records show.

“He was having a lot of problems with debts,” Riley said. “He had separated from his wife and he was still paying her expenses in New York.”

According to Riley, Goudreau’s wife, June, lived in New York while Goudreau was training in Germany. Public records show the last known address for Goudreau is a post office box in Park Slope, Brooklyn, in 2012.

Beginning in 2012, Goudreau was investigated for allegedly defrauding the Army of $62,000 in housing allowance payments. Goudreau, who did not return The Post’s calls for comment, said in other interviews that the investigation was closed with no charges.

Still, desperate to pay off his debts, Goudreau began to take on private security work, and boasted on Silvercorp’s website that he participated in “international security teams for the President of the United States as well as the Secretary of Defense.”

In February 2019, he was part of a team at a concert for Venezuelan aid organized by billionaire Richard Branson in Colombia, where the scheme to invade the country and liberate impoverished Venezuelans from Maduro’s iron grip began to take shape.

Later, Goudreau met with Venezuelan soldiers who had deserted the country, including Cliver Alcala, a retired major general in the Venezuelan army, who was trying to lead 300 low-ranking deserters in Colombia to invade the country.

Goudreau agreed to train the men and lead the operation, according to the Associated Press. Last month, Alcala surrendered to US authorities after his indictment on drug trafficking charges in March. He is now in custody in New York awaiting federal trial in the case that alleges that Maduro was the ringleader of a massive cocaine cartel.

Months after his first trip to Colombia in September 2019, Goudreau met with Juan Jose Rendon, a Miami-based political strategist and Maduro opponent who fled Venezuela in 2013. Rendon headed up a clandestine coalition searching for ways to help Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido remove Maduro from power. Guaido, who won elections in 2018, is seen as the country’s legitimate president by more than 60 countries, including the US.

At their meeting, Goudreau told Rendon that he had 800 mercenaries ready to swoop into Venezuela and asked for more than $200 million to complete the job, the Washington Post reported. Although Rendon and his partners initially agreed to the operation, they began to get cold feet when Goudreau could not produce any evidence of a small army and demanded an immediate payment of a $1.5 million retainer.

Jordan Goudreau (left), along with former Venezuelan Army Gen., Cliver Alcala announce the beginning of an insurgency into Venezuela.

After the failed mission, it was the money that became a sticking point for Goudreau. In the interview with Factores de Poder, he said he never received “a single cent” for his work but continued to prepare his fighting force anyway, going further into debt, he said. 

A few weeks before the failed coup, Goudreau contacted Rendon through a lawyer in order to collect on the retainer and “made it known that if they didn’t pay up he would release the agreement to the press,” Stars and Stripes reported. In the interview with Factores de Poder, Goudreau provided copies of pages from the contract and complained about never receiving the retainer. Nevertheless, he ordered the operation to help Venezuelans.

“I just want to say to the Venezuelan people that there’s people fighting on your behalf,” Goudreau said.

Riley said he wasn’t surprised that Goudreau launched the failed coup with almost no backing. “He’s not a red tape kind of guy,” he said. “He’s the right man for the job and he’s used to doing things on his own. He doesn’t wait for anyone to help him.”

Handout photo showing ID cards, two-way radios and other military gear allegedly belonging to US citizens arrested after the botched coup attempt.

When he was planning his invasion of Venezuela, Jordan Goudreau compared his mercenary forces to those of Alexander the Great in his most decisive battle against the Persian kingdom.

Like the ancient warrior, Goudreau, a 43-year-old decorated former Special Forces soldier, planned to strike “deep into the heart of the enemy,” capture Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro and collect a multimillion dollar bounty.

But when his ragtag group of guerrillas docked last weekend in Macuto, a coastal city 20 miles from the capital of Caracas, they seemed to have more in common with the fumbling characters in Woody Allen’s 1971 spoof “Bananas” — about a band of misfits who unwittingly get caught up in a Latin American revolution.

The mercenaries, including Venezuelan dissidents and two Americans, were overwhelmed by a group of local fishermen when they washed ashore, largely because Maduro’s forces knew they were coming and were lying in wait, a US law enforcement source told The Post.

Cuban spies, who run all of Venezuela’s counterintelligence, had tracked Goudreau, a former Green Beret and self-styled security consultant, for months as he helped train a small cadre of combatants in Colombia.

Despite the death of eight guerrilla fighters and the arrest of 13 others, including former Special Forces soldiers Airan Berry and Luke Denman, who have been paraded on Venezuelan national TV, Goudreau praised the operation and said there were numerous “cells” still active in the country, ready to attack Maduro and his cronies.

Eight men are arrested in Venezuela after the failed coup.
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