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Issue #1915      May 18, 2020

AFTERMATH OF FAILED COUP

AIDES OF SELF-DECLARED INTERIM PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA QUIT

Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido’s United States-based advisers have quit in the fallout of the latest bungled coup attempt, his press team acknowledged [last] Monday.

Guaido, who continues to deny involvement in the plot against the Venezuelan government, thanked Juan Rendon and exiled legislator Sergio Vergara for their “dedication and commitment to Venezuela” but did not give a reason for their departure.

The pair were part of Guaido’s so-called strategic committee, which was established in 2016 to explore ways to topple the democratically elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Rendon, who was granted political asylum in the US in 2016, had been Guaido’s official spokesman and attended White House events in an official capacity.

Washington recognises Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela, using him as a proxy for numerous failed coup attempts since last year.

Rendon has admitted to negotiating with US private-security company Silvercorp and making a $50,000 [USD] advance payment to former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau, who carried out the coup attempt, to cover expenses.

He insisted that the talks were only exploratory and claimed to have cut ties with Goudreau in November 2019.

But the leaked Silvercorp contract cites the removal of Maduro as one of its stated aims and was signed by both Rendon and Vergara.

Guaido’s press team said that the pair “ratified their support for the democratic cause […] and called for all national and international sectors to reinforce their support for the interim president.”

They denied knowledge of the coup attempt, dubbed Operation Gideon, and said that the strategic commission was not interested in “participating in violent activities.”

Venezuelan chief prosecutor Tarek Saab confirmed that his office had requested the extradition of Goudreau, Rendon and Vergara for their role in the “design, financing and execution” of the plan.

Morning Star

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