Mercenaries captured in Chuao, on the coast of Aragua state. Photo: Twitter
On the morning of May 4, in the coastal town of Chuao (Aragua state), a group of eight mercenaries aboard a boat were captured in a joint operation between local fishermen, the regional police and the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB).
Former Captain Antonio Sequea Torres, his brother, former Major General Juvenal Sequea Torres, Adolfo Baduel, son of former General Raúl Isaías Baduel, and two Americans with ties to the Silvercorp company were arrested.
This failed incursion was part of the so-called “Operation Gideon”, carried out by the American military contractor Silvercorp, owned by Jordan Goudreau, who unsuccessfully attempted an armed landing at Macuto (La Guaira state) in the early hours of the morning the day before.
Yesterday, Antonio Sequea Torres released a video in which he was accompanied by heavily armed mercenaries and claimed to be the commander of this operation.
His involvement was also confirmed by his wife, Veronica Noya, in an interview with TVV Noticias. Noya asserted that the former captain was part of this armed movement and that he was in hiding after the failed coup d’état of 30 April 2019, in which he also participated.
Antonio Sequea with Leopoldo López during the failed coup d’état of 30 April 2019. Photo: Archives
For his part, former Major General Juvenal Sequea Torres stated in an interview for VPI, broadcast shortly before the capture in Chuao, that the operation was generally supported by Colombia and the United States, although he avoided offering details. Antonio Sequea was part of a first advance party of sorts and assured that more decisive action would follow.
He stressed that the impetus for the actions came, in good measure, from the false accusation of narco-terrorism made by the Justice Department against Venezuelan leaders who hold high state responsibilities:
“It was the United States that issued that decree, for us the action was political, but based on this that the United States did with respect to Maduro, we are already talking about a police action. In other words, we did take into account the guidelines of the United States and, as a result of this, it is our action as well,” responded Juvenal to the question from the VPI journalist as to whether they had direct contact with US officials.
The vice-president of the PSUV, Diosdado Cabello, published the videos of the capture of the mercenaries, indicating that Antonio Sequea was the “leader of the terrorist operation. He also published statements by Adolfo Baduel, who claimed that the two detained Americans were working with President Trump’s security team.
Some of the weapons and equipment confiscated in Chuao. Source: Twitter
As the hours pass, the traces of the United States in the making and deployment of the mercenary operation against Venezuela become more and more visible. This absolute protagonism that the mediocracy has wanted to confer on Jordan Goudreau, in an attempt to disassociate Washington, is losing effectiveness.
Faced with this framework of military aggression, the FANB has activated the alert of the Territorial Defense System to neutralize new attempts at destabilization by increasing the readiness and coordination of military, police and civilian units.
This is a massive military deployment to quell mercenary movements that may be preparing on the ground.
“The entire Territorial Defense System, with the support of the security agencies, is carrying out patrol and search operations, especially in the coastal region, in order to locate other possible participants and determine their connections, so additional arrests cannot be ruled out,” the Venezuelan military body said in a statement signed by General and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López.
Venezuelan fishermen and military neutralize mercenary incursion in Chuao. Photo: Twitter
As the operation loses momentum, Guaidó has decided to rush forward denying his ties to Jordan Goudreau, despite the fact that his signature is on a $212.9 million contract with Silvercorp to execute an armed intervention against the country.
However, he has taken a 180-degree turn. In a recent communiqué, the fake government of Guaidó has legitimized “Operation Gideon”, admitting that it is not a fabrication, asking for respect for the “human rights” of the mercenaries. It is clear that it has been directly linked.
The Colombian government has also tried to disassociate itself and Washington denies any kind of connection with the events of the last few hours. Due to the failure of the Macuto raid, the anti-Chávez media and politicians have fabricated a control narrative spanning years to present this as some sort of government frame-up, although Guaidó has thrown these efforts to the wind.
The failed raids by Macuto (La Guaira) and Chuao (Aragua) are evidence of the geographical focus of the operation and the distribution of roles and capabilities.
While former Captain Robert Colina, alias “Pantera” (killed in Macuto), would be in charge of consolidating a cell in La Guaira, with the intention of moving on to Caracas, on the coast of Aragua state Antonio Sequea would be shaping a kind of beachhead for the landing of weapons, logistical resources and the mercenary squad he displayed in his exalted video for social networks.
Mountainous corridor of the Henri Pittier National Park that covers the states of Aragua and Carabobo. Photo: Archives
Both movements failed in their original calculation: alias “Pantera” considered that a night raid would not attract the attention of the security forces, while Antonio Sequea bet on a silent landing in a population of fishermen and cocoa producers that would not, in theory, be prepared to detect their arrival.
After the failure of the attempt commanded by Clíver Alcalá via the Colombian border in March (where alias “Pantera” also participated), the U.S. planners decided to shift the focus to an invasion along the coast.
They bet on Macuto, taking advantage of the social withdrawal due to the Covid-19 pandemic, to shorten distances and have a direct route to the center of political power in Venezuela: the highly valued Caracas and its Miraflores Palace.
Under this logic, and while the cell of alias “Pantera” was being consolidated in La Guaira, Sequea would take advantage of Chuao: a town connected to the mountain range of the Henri Pittier National Park, through which it is possible to reach, on foot, the areas of Puerto Maya and Puerto Cruz, as well as Colonia Tovar and El Junquito, it was a virtually safe space for the transport of arms and resources without using the traditional land routes, avoiding the presence of police and military personnel.
Police officers from the FAES in Macuto, after neutralizing the incursion commanded by alias “Pantera”. Photo: Twitter
Chuao also offered a direct route to the Araucanian cities of Turmero and Maracay, where the powerful 4th Armored Division of the Venezuelan Army and its headquarters are located. This strategic military unit, which covers the central region of the country and part of the plains, is home to one of the country’s main weapons parks and the most sensitive and strategic part of its artillery.
The incursion through Chuao was probably intended to inhibit this important axis of gravity of Venezuelan military power, since former Captain Robert Colina would take advantage of this momentary advantage in order to carry out the desired definitive coup in Miraflores.
At this time it cannot be assumed that “Operation Gideon” has been completely dismantled, as the FANB still maintains a state of alert taking into account that there would be other mercenary-terrorist cells deployed in different areas of the country.
In the two failed raids over the last 48 hours, the crucial element has been the organization of the people and their own intelligence networks.