When he was planning his invasion of Venezuela, Jordan Goudreau in contrast his mercenary forces to these of Alexander the Nice in his most decisive battle in opposition to the Persian kingdom.
Like the traditional warrior, Goudreau, a 43-year-old adorned former particular forces soldier, deliberate to strike “deep into the center of the enemy,” seize Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro and acquire a multimillion-dollar bounty.
However when his ragtag group of guerrillas docked final weekend in Macuto, a coastal metropolis 20 miles from the capital of Caracas, they appeared to have extra in frequent with the fumbling characters in Woody Allen’s 1971 spoof “Bananas” — a couple of band of misfits who unwittingly get caught up in a Latin American revolution.
The mercenaries, together with Venezuelan dissidents and two Individuals, have been overwhelmed by a bunch of native fishermen once they washed ashore, largely as a result of Maduro’s forces knew they have been coming and have been mendacity in wait, a US regulation enforcement supply instructed The Submit.
Cuban spies, who run all of Venezuela’s counterintelligence, had tracked Goudreau, a former Inexperienced Beret and self-styled safety guide, for months as he helped practice a small cadre of combatants in Colombia. Goudreau himself surprisingly bragged concerning the coup in a tweet to President Trump on Could 4: “Strikeforce incursion into Venezuela. 60 Venezuelan, 2 American ex Inexperienced Beret @realDonaldTrump.”
Regardless of the dying of eight guerrilla fighters and the arrest of 13 others, together with former particular forces troopers Airan Berry and Luke Denman, who’ve been paraded on Venezuelan nationwide TV, Goudreau praised the operation and stated there have been quite a few “cells” nonetheless lively within the nation, able to assault Maduro and his cronies.
“I’ve bought troops within the area,” Goudreau
instructed Factores de Poder (Energy Elements), a Miami-based YouTube channel that reviews on Venezuela, shortly after the failed coup. “I’ve been a freedom fighter my complete life. These individuals have a proper to battle for their nation.”
However Goudreau’s predominant purpose for organizing the coup could have had much less to do with freedom preventing, and extra with an pressing want for money, the supply instructed The Submit. Goudreau, whose nascent safety consultancy enterprise is struggling, was bent on cashing in on the $15 million reward from the State Division for the seize of Maduro, who was indicted on drug trafficking expenses in Manhattan federal court docket in March.
“Goudreau was clearly after the cash and to advertise his new safety firm,” stated the supply, who didn’t need to be recognized. “However the entire thing was extremely amateurish. We’re nonetheless attempting to piece it collectively. This was no coup, not even shut.”
And whereas Maduro is exploiting the failed coup for most propaganda functions, attacking the US authorities and his political enemies in Venezuela, who at one level backed the weird plot, Goudreau has different issues on his palms.
The brawny commando with the sq. jaw and buzz minimize has not solely develop into the topic of ridicule, however is now underneath federal investigation for arms trafficking in Colombia, the supply instructed The Submit.
Jordan Man MacDonald Goudreau all the time wished to be a hero, a modern-day GI Joe. However he was additionally an opportunist who was desperate to monetize his fight expertise after he left the service, associates instructed The Submit.
The Canadian-born American soldier joined the Canadian armed forces whereas finishing a pc science diploma on the College of Calgary within the mid-1990s, in response to his LinkedIn profile. A 12 months later, in 1999, he moved to Bethesda, Maryland, the place he labored as a programs analyst for Worker Well being Packages, a drug testing agency.
However he longed for the battlefield, and two years later moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina, the place he skilled at Fort Bragg to be a medical sergeant and oblique hearth infantryman assigned to the 10th Particular Forces Group, an elite cadre of troopers who focus on unconventional warfare and counter-terrorism.
He deployed to Iraq from November 2006 to April 2007 and served two excursions in Afghanistan — in 2011 and 2014 — and was awarded three Bronze Star medals. However his army profession ended 4 years in the past after he suffered a concussion in a parachuting accident and quite a few again accidents.
“Jordan is the type of dude who the army calls to do the highest tier stuff that guys do this preserve individuals secure,” good friend Frank Riley instructed The Submit. “He’s effectively skilled and has a coronary heart for individuals. He would give his life for his nation.”
One other good friend, who served with the previous Inexperienced Beret in Iraq, remembered him as a fearless warrior. “He was unbelievable,” Drew White instructed Canada’s Globe and Mail final week. “He was who you wished within the trenches with you.” White stated he and Goudreau additionally served with Berry and Denman in Iraq.
White, who now lives in Colorado and runs a house inspection firm, teamed up with Goudreau after they retired from the army to begin Silvercorp USA, a safety agency launched in 2018, public information present. The Melbourne, Florida-based agency was integrated on Feb. 26, 2018, days after the mass taking pictures at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 useless, information present.
Goudreau thought he had hit pay dust with a scheme he devised to guard college students from random shooters. He wished to cost mother and father $8.99 every to embed former particular forces troopers at colleges posing as lecturers to collect intelligence from college students that would uncover potential threats.
“The great thing about it’s it’s all for the worth of a Netflix subscription, so it’s actually laborious to argue with me about, ‘Properly it prices an excessive amount of.’ You may’t inform me that,” Goudreau instructed the Washington Submit in November 2018, when he was pushing his companies at an Orlando expo on college security. When a colleague steered Goudreau might go to high school boards and the federal government for the money, he responded vehemently.
“However we don’t need to,” he stated. “We don’t need that. We would like non-public cash as a result of it’s sooner.”
Goudreau did want cash quick. In 2018, he had money owed that topped $100,000, stated Riley, an Afghanistan Conflict veteran who additionally helped Goudreau arrange Silvercorp. That 12 months, as he was launching his enterprise, Goudreau moved in with Riley, whom he had met by Warrior Video games, a US Particular Operations competitors for wounded ex-combatants, Riley stated. Goudreau used Riley’s handle in Melbourne to include Silvercorp, public information present.
“He was having loads of issues with money owed,” Riley stated. “He had separated from his spouse and he was nonetheless paying her bills in New York.”
Based on Riley, Goudreau’s spouse, June, lived in New York whereas Goudreau was coaching in Germany. Public information present the final recognized handle for Goudreau is a put up workplace field in Park Slope, Brooklyn, in 2012.
Starting in 2012, Goudreau was investigated for allegedly defrauding the Military of $62,00Zero in housing allowance funds. Goudreau, who didn’t return The Submit’s calls for remark, stated in different interviews that the investigation was closed with no expenses.
Nonetheless, desperate to repay his money owed, Goudreau started to tackle non-public safety work, and boasted on Silvercorp’s web site that he participated in “worldwide safety groups for the President of the US in addition to the Secretary of Protection.”
In February 2019, he was a part of a workforce at a live performance for Venezuelan help organized by billionaire Richard Branson in Colombia, the place the scheme to invade the nation and liberate impoverished Venezuelans from Maduro’s iron grip started to take form.
Later, Goudreau met with Venezuelan troopers who had abandoned the nation, together with Cliver Alcala, a retired main normal within the Venezuelan military, who was attempting to guide 300 low-ranking deserters in Colombia to invade the nation.
Goudreau agreed to coach the boys and lead the operation, in response to the Related Press. Final month, Alcala surrendered to US authorities after his indictment on drug trafficking expenses in March. He’s now in custody in New York awaiting federal trial within the case that alleges that Maduro was the ringleader of a large cocaine cartel.
Months after his first journey 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 looking for methods to assist Venezuelan opposition chief Juan Guaido take away Maduro from energy. Guaido, who received elections in 2018, is seen because the nation’s respectable president by greater than 60 nations, together with the US.
At their assembly, Goudreau instructed Rendon that he had 800 mercenaries able to swoop into Venezuela and requested for greater than $200 million to finish the job, the Washington Submit reported. Though Rendon and his companions initially agreed to the operation, they started to get chilly toes when Goudreau couldn’t produce any proof of a small military and demanded an instantaneous cost of a $1.5 million retainer.
After the failed mission, it was the cash that grew to become a sticking level for Goudreau. Within the interview with Factores de Poder, he stated he by no means acquired “a single cent” for his work however continued to organize his preventing power anyway, going additional into debt, he stated.
A number of weeks earlier than the failed coup, Goudreau contacted Rendon by a lawyer with the intention to acquire on the retainer and “made it recognized that in the event that they didn’t pay up he would launch the settlement to the press,” Stars and Stripes reported. Within the interview with Factores de Poder, Goudreau offered copies of pages from the contract and complained about by no means receiving the retainer. However, he ordered the operation to assist Venezuelans.
“I simply need to say to the Venezuelan those who there’s individuals preventing in your behalf,” Goudreau stated.
Riley stated he wasn’t shocked that Goudreau launched the failed coup with virtually no backing. “He’s not a crimson tape type of man,” he stated. “He’s the proper man for the job and he’s used to doing issues on his personal. He doesn’t wait for anybody to assist him.”