Maduro Claims Venezuela Captures 2 US ‘Mercenaries’

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TWO US citizens were a group of “mercenaries” captured by Venezuelan authorities, President Nicholas Maduro said in a televised address on Monday.

He held up two US passports, reading off the names and birth dates on them in a nationwide broadcast on state television.

Images of the fishing boats used by the alleged attackers and equipment such as walkie-talkies and night-vision glasses were collected in what Maduro called an “intense” couple of days.

He blamed the attacks on the Trump administration and neighbouring Colombia, both of which have denied involvement.

Maduro said, “The United States government is fully and completely involved in this defeated raid.

He also praised villagers on a fishing area for cornering one group in the sweep netting the “professional American mercenaries.”

Before dawn on Sunday, officials say the first attack started on a beach near Venezuela’s port city of La Guaira, when security forces made the first two arrests and killed eight others attempting to make a landing by speedboats.

The two US citizens arrested Monday were identified as Luke Denman and Airan Berry, both former US special forces soldiers.

Florida-based ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau said earlier Monday that he was working with the two men in a mission intending to detain Maduro and “liberate” Venezuela. Goudreau has claimed responsibility for the operation, the Associate Press is reporting.

The two served in Iraq and Afghanistan with him in the US military, Goudreau said, adding that they were part of this alleged mission in Venezuela called “Operation Gideon.”

The aim was to capture Maduro.


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