Home America North America Venezuela Detains Two American Citizens Over Failed Coup Plot, US Denies Involvement 

Venezuela Detains Two American Citizens Over Failed Coup Plot, US Denies Involvement 

Venezuelan authorities said that the US citizens were arrested over failed armed incursion to overthrown Venezuelan President Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on May 4 that Venezuelan authorities arrested two US citizens tied to American “mercenaries” operating in the South American country who had planned an armed incursion by sea to overthrow him. According to the authorities, the two Florida-based security company contractors Airan Berry and Luke Denham were working with a US military veteran who claimed responsibility for the “failed coup plot”. President Donald Trump on May 5 denied any involvement by the US government in the said “failed” armed incursion. 

“We’ll find out. We just heard about it,” Trump said when asked about the Americans’ arrest at the White House. “But it has nothing to do with our government”. US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said in a Pentagon briefing, “The United States government had nothing to do with what’s happened in Venezuela in the last few days”. Following Trump’s denial, the State Department accused Maduro’s government of distorting the details with “highly questionable representation” and said that it is looking forward to more information about the matter. 

In a live state television address on May 4, President Maduro said that the authorities arrested 13 “terrorists” involved in a plot described by him as a coup coordinated with Washington to enter the country through the sea and overthrow him. Venezuela authorities also said that eight armed men were killed during the incursion attempt on May 3. 

Maduro also showed what he said were the US passports of the two Americans in custody and said that they had been working with US veteran Jordan Goudreau, leader of a Florida-based security company called Silvercorp USA. Attorney General Tarek William Saab tweeted pictures of bullets and ammunition which were seized during the arrest, according to the Venezuelan special forces.