Venezuelan authorities announced they routed an armed group attempting to land on Venezuelan shores on Sunday.
The incident reportedly took place in the early morning hours, with armed men on speed boats approaching coastal La Guaira State, just north of Caracas.
“A group of terrorist mercenaries, organized and trained in Colombia, tried to disembark with war material off the coast of La Guaira,” a statement released by the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) read.
The statement detailed that intelligence work, as well as defense exercises, allowed the FANB and police units to respond immediately. In the ensuing confrontation, eight members of the paramilitary group were killed, the FANB added, and two were arrested. There are no reports of casualties on the Venezuelan side.
Sunday’s failed incursion came on the heels of an Associated Press report revealing that former US Special Operations soldier Jordan Goudreau had played a leading role in a plan to invade Venezuela led by retired Venezuelan Major General Cliver Alcala. Goudreau was responsible for training a contingent of 300 Venezuelan army deserters who were to enter Venezuela in a heavily armed caravan and seize the capital within 96 hours.
Both the Venezuelan opposition and the Colombian government were reportedly aware of the plot.
In a video released on social media, Goudreau confirmed that the amphibious landing attempt had been launched from Colombia as part of “Operation Gedeon” and that “other units” were active in the “south, west, and east of Venezuela.” He appeared alongside retired National Guard Captain Javier Nieto Quintero, who claimed that the operation aimed to “capture” high-ranking officials and “liberate” the Venezuelan people.
A video of purported participants in “Operation Gedeon” was likewise released on Sunday. A man identifying himself as Antonio Jose Sequea, whom Goudreau identifies as the commander of the operation, appears on a beach flanked by heavily armed soldiers. Sequea is additionally seen with a blue armband similar to those worn by mutinous FANB soldiers who took part in last year’s failed April 30 putsch led by opposition leader Juan Guaido.