MIAMI (AP) — A judge in Colombia has sentenced three Venezuelan men to six years in prison for helping organise an ill-conceived plot to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro involving former American Green Berets.
The sentence handed down late Tuesday was the minimum allowed for the crimes, according to an attorney for the three co-defendants who spoke to The Associated Press (AP) on Wednesday.
In March, the men pleaded guilty to working alongside former United States (US) Green Beret and Iraq war veteran Jordan Goudreau in organising a rag tag army of a few dozen Venezuelan military deserters intent on overthrowing Venezuela’s socialist leadership.
Plans included raiding military installations as well as the presidential palace. The so-called Operation Gideon ended with six insurgents dead and two of Goudreau’s former Special Forces buddies behind bars in Caracas.
But the plot really never stood a chance of succeeding against Maduro’s loyal and heavily armed military after having been thoroughly infiltrated months earlier.
Two of the men sentenced on Tuesday, National Guard Major Juvenal Sequea and Juven Sequea, are the older brothers of the confessed commander of the failed May 3 incursion Captain Antonio Sequea, who is jailed in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. The third person, Rayder Russo, has long sought Maduro’s armed overthrow.