Colombian President, Iván Duque, participates in a military promotion ceremony in Bogotá (Photo: EFE)
One year after it sought to invade Venezuela and capture President Nicolás Maduro with Operation Gideon, the Colombian government continues to participate in conspiracies planned in Washington to bring about regime change in Caracas.
Since 2018, when the attempted assassination of President Maduro and the Venezuelan military high command was thwarted with the use of explosive drones, Bogotá’s willingness to serve as an operational base to plan attacks against Venezuela has been confirmed with every step it takes and laid bare before the international media and diplomatic showcase.
Taking into account the precedents to that moment, and on the occasion of the remembrance of the failed Operation Gideon, we will review the most threatening events in the political life of Venezuela in the last four years and the influence that the Colombian oligarchy has had in the open conspiracy against its neighbour.
On August 4, 2018, at an event for the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), on Bolivar Avenue in Caracas, they attempted to assassinate President Maduro with two drones loaded with explosives. The devices exploded near the presidential stage, which caused an interruption of the transmission of the event and the activation of security protocols to protect the life of the Venezuelan president.
Previously, Bloomberg published a report on Operation Constitution, a conspiracy planned in Colombia aimed at stopping the presidential elections of May 20, 2018, kidnapping President Nicolás Maduro and putting him on trial.
The media outlet published another report on August 17 that indicated a link between Bogota and the assassination attempt: two of the groups plotting Operation Constitution met in Colombia weeks before the attack.
According to the media, one of them wanted to assassinate the president, the other only wanted to arrest and try him. The first group showed the second group videos of armed drones shipped from Miami being tested on a Colombian farm. One of the participants in the meeting told Bloomberg that he believed the people who had proposed the assassination were the same ones who executed the August 4th attack.
In August 2018, two drones detonated explosives near Bolivar Avenue in Caracas, where Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, was addressing the nation. (Photo: Associated Press)
Later, investigations carried out by the Venezuelan state pointed to the fact that the operatives involved in the attack were trained in Colombia, specifically in the municipality of Chinacota, department of Norte de Santander, between April and June 2018. The authorities denounced at the time that in the Nariño Palace there was consent to the conspiratorial plans, permitting the events to develop with impunity.
A similar scenario was intended to be reproduced on December 6, 2020, during the parliamentary elections. President Maduro had to change his polling place at the last minute, after Colombian intelligence sources informed him that President Iván Duque was preparing “an attack to assassinate me on the day of the elections”.
The battle of the bridges
At the end of January 2019, the world witnessed the parade of countries that legitimized the political laboratory that Washington was testing with the self-proclamation of Juan Guaidó to create a precedent in new destabilization technologies. President Duque, in addition to being among the first to abide by the plan, was among those who helped build a representative regional force to introduce Guaidó internationally, while consolidating a plan inside Colombia that would make regime change effective.
A month later, Iván Duque was meeting with his Chilean and Paraguayan counterparts, Sebastián Piñera and Mario Abdo Benitez, to express political solidarity with the participants of the Venezuela Aid Live concert, organized on February 22, 2019 in support of Guaidó and the invasion attempt feigned in a transfer of “humanitarian aid” to Venezuela through the Simon Bolivar Bridge with the help of USAID and in collusion with the Colombian authorities at the border.
The idea was for Juan Guaidó and the irregular groups accompanying him to cross the border with the trucks carrying humanitarian supplies, violating Venezuela’s national sovereignty, but they were blocked by the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and the civilian population that also accompanied the defense of the border, in a clear demonstration of the civil-military union.
Recently, the office of the Inspector General of the Agency for International Development (USAID) acknowledged that the alleged intentions of the United States to help Venezuela were inconsistent with humanitarian principles.
According to the results of the audit made by the office, the provision of humanitarian aid “did not meet technical expertise, was not fully coordinated with the inspector general’s office, did not comply with USAID’s stated principles of neutrality and independence”.
In the course of its assistance, USAID instructed officials to make decisions aimed at “generating confidence in the interim government (of Guaidó),” the same objective sought by the Colombian government.
Venezuelan authorities had already warned of the scam behind the alleged U.S. humanitarian aid in Cúcuta, a Colombian border city, where coordination with USAID was prompted.
The May 3, 2020 Operation Gideon, designed to overthrow and kidnap the Venezuelan president, was planned in Bogotá. And this is not an accusation, but an assertion made by the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office on its official website.
In March, the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office determined that the masterminds of Operation Gideon were former Venezuelan military officer Cliver Alcalá and former congressman Hernán Alemán.
“It was an illegal operation in Colombian territory to train a paramilitary force composed of Venezuelan military and police officers who planned illegal actions against a foreign government,” the agency acknowledged.
The Colombian justice added that Jordan Goudreau, Airan Berry and Luke Alexander Denmam, from Silvercorp, had the task of training some 200 men in combat tactics, with the objective of entering Venezuelan territory and deposing the Maduro government.
Following that statement, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza requested Colombian authorities to carry out investigations to determine the responsibilities of the Duque government in the matter.
Bogota has even been complacent with the coup perpetrators residing in Colombian territory and has provided them with protection, avoiding handing them over to the Venezuelan justice system.
- Former Venezuelan Major General Cleaver Alcala fled to Colombia in 2016 and three years later dedicated himself to training the group of 300 paramilitaries, although he was displaced from the plan by the Sequea brothers. On March 26, 2019, the US Department of Justice placed him on an international wanted list on drug trafficking charges. The next day, he turned himself in to US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, after which he was extradited to the United States.
- Alexander Russo, known as “Teniente Pico”, and former Venezuelan National Guard commanders Juvenal Sequea Torres and José Sequea Torres received a six-year prison sentence after accepting a plea agreement.
- The other person captured in Colombia has refused to plead guilty. Jordan Goudreau’s personal translator, Yacsy Alvarez Mirabal, rejected the offer of the investigation and publicly stated that Colombia’s National Intelligence Agency (DNI) was aware of the plans to overthrow Maduro and that Alcala himself had met with his boss, Vice Admiral Rodolfo Amaya.
Venezuela has asked Colombian authorities to extradite Venezuelan military officers Juvenal Sequea and Juven Sequea, and civilian Ryder Russo, responsible for Operation Gideon (Photo: The Latam Post).
“The capture of the Sequea brothers, Yacsy Mirabal and alias ‘Pico’, confirms that everything we had said about the relationship between Iván Duque, Juan Guaidó, the mercenary Jordan Goudreau and the relationship in turn of Goudreau with the administration of Donald Trump, was completely true and is absolutely proven at the present time”, declared the deputy and Chavista spokesman Jorge Rodríguez in a recount one year after the event via press conference.
The war front in Apure
On March 21, the FANB carried out an operation against irregular armed actors based on the Apure-Arauca border. These groups, in permanent conflict for the control of drug trafficking, are attempting to escalate violence in Venezuelan territory. The fact that Bogota has not been able to control the violence cannot be viewed as an isolated event when it ends up influencing the stability of our country.
Indeed, the event of that and the following days in Apure were manipulated by the government of Ivan Duque, Colombian right-wing media and anti-Chavez NGOs, placing the spotlight on the government of President Maduro under the assumption that it was inflicting damage on the civilian population in the area.
“In the case of the irregular group that was evicted from Apure, it is linked to the Colombian Army, to the government of Duque. Some of its commanders have been working for the Colombian Army, they disguise themselves as guerrillas to support drug trafficking routes”, informed President Maduro days after the first battles.
It should be recalled that recently the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, had a telephone conversation with Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez. This was reported on April 6 by the press service of the U.S. State Department. Blinken and Duque discussed the two countries’ commitment to “restoring democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela.”
While Colombia concentrates on fulfilling the objectives of the United States, offering itself as a beachhead for the Pentagon, NATO and other Atlanticist security apparatuses, the internal conflict situation in Colombian territory has been advancing. Right now it is reflected in the protests against tax reform taking place in Bogota, Cali, Medellin and other cities. The repressive apparatuses have been sent to the streets to crush the demonstrations and the result, so far, has resulted in more than 19 people dead and more than 800 injured, according to data released by the Ombudsman’s Office.
The Colombian oligarchy together with the current government of Iván Duque have an openly pro-American policy and are hostile to the sovereignty of Venezuela. The subversive activities they promote and support confirm this. The Colombian State intends to continue preserving its status as a protégé of the United States and promoter of its interests in the region, resorting to the harsh methods of unconventional warfare that impact both the Venezuelan State forces and its own and neighboring populations.
Translation by Internationalist 360°