US and Colombian govts supported botched invasion of Venezuela: Bombshell testimony from coup-plotter
A key coup-plotter in the May 2020 botched invasion of Venezuela said she met with FBI and DEA officials. She admitted Colombia’s intelligence services were aiding them and “knew everything,” adding that President Iván Duque and far-right political kingpin Álvaro Uribe helped.
by Ben Norton
Part 2 - Colombia’s intelligence agency turns on failed Venezuelan coup-plotter
Yacsy Álvarez was much more than just Jordan Goudreau’s translator; she was a crucial figure in plotting the botched May 2020 invasion.
Álvarez helped to traffic large sums of weapons into Colombia for use in Operation Gideon, working closely with former General Cliver Alcalá.
She also connected Jordan Goudreau and two of his former US Green Beret colleagues with the defectors from the Venezuelan military and police who carried out the coup attempt.
According to Álvarez, Colombian intelligence agencies were intimately involved in the operation. And after the invasion failed, Colombian spies spent months protecting Álvarez inside the country. She met with them, and they repeatedly told her they would defend her. But they betrayed her.
In September 2020, in an attempt to save face, the Colombian government decided to arrest a group of Venezuelans who had been involved in the botched invasion and were still living in Colombia. Among those detained was Yacsy Álvarez.
Journalists from the major Colombian TV network Noticias Caracol visited Colombia’s Picaleña prison to interview Álvarez. On January 27, the media outlet published a report that shined more light on Operation Gideon.
The Noticias Caracol report shows that Yacsy Álvarez was in “constant” correspondence with Colombia’s intelligence agencies, who were supporting the Venezuelan coup-plotters.
Álvarez said Colombia’s National Intelligence Directorate (DNI) put her in touch with a contact named “Rosa” and told her, “if you need anything, if you have an emergency, contact them.”
“They told me that everything was okay and everything was fine, that they were protecting my life from the people from FAES [the Venezuelan police’s Special Action Forces], but that here we would be okay, in Colombia,” Álvarez recalled.
She said she personally met with her Colombian intelligence contact in August – just a month before she was arrested. Álvarez was then put in touch with another Colombian intelligence officer named Francklin Sánchez.
“They told me to stay calm, that they’re going to protect you and they’re going to look after you,” Álvarez recalled. “They themselves told me that FAES is looking for me. When I met with them they showed me two photos of the people who were looking for me. He himself told me, ‘Change your SIM card; don’t call so much; be careful.'”
“That is what I don’t understand. If they were protecting me, how are they going to send me to prison on illogical charges?” a bewildered Álvarez asked in the interview.
When she was detained in September, Álvarez said it was totally unexpected. “It’s that everything was supposedly cool, calm, and supposedly everything was supposed to be resolved, and it was an incredible shock. It never once passed through my head that they were going to charge me and arrest me,” she told Noticias Caracol.
“The day that they arrested me, I was going to meet with the man from the DNI,” she added.
Álvarez’s lawyer says she was caught in a “trap” laid by the Colombian intelligence agency. He accused the Colombian government of putting the blame on Álvarez and her co-conspirators in order to draw attention away from its own complicity in the botched invasion.
As evidence of their previous collaboration, Álvarez’s attorney provided Noticias Caracol with a letter from August 2020 that was sent to Colombia’s prosecutor general from the head of terrorism and counter-terrorism for the DNI, Jorge Miguel Padilla Ruiz. The letter shows Padilla acknowledging that the top Colombian intelligence agency had been seeking protection for Álvarez.
The Noticias Caracol report noted that Colombia had faced diplomatic and political pressure due to its involvement in the coup plot. Russia formally raised the issue in a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, questioning Bogotá’s role.
It appears that the Colombian government decided to turn on Álvarez, arresting her and her associates as cover, to give the impression that Bogotá was holding the participants responsible for the coup attempt. Álvarez also appears to be a casualty of a political conflict between the Colombian prosecutor’s office and other state institutions.