By Misión Verdad – May 10, 2023
Three years have passed since the failed Operation Gideon, and there are still loose ends to be resolved regarding the mercenary plot whose objective was to assassinate President Nicolás Maduro and invade Venezuela with foreign and local mercenary troops; a plan in which the governments of the United States and Colombia participated together, alongside drug traffickers, US mercenaries, as well as hundreds of soldiers and business-people.
A recently published investigation by Colombia’s RAYA magazine uncovered that one particular part of the organizational structure of the operation, perhaps one of the most important, has not been brought to justice.
The Colombian magazine had access to hidden documents from Colombia’s Prosecutor’s Office, explaining in detail the business network behind Operation Gideon. These documents highlight the fact that, although the police investigation led to the identification and arrest of those responsible, the Prosecutor’s Office did not include the business-people and main financiers of the mercenary operation within their investigation.
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The documents point out that Colombian Attorney General Francisco Barbosa Delgado did not prosecute two of the three main businessmen involved, despite sufficient evidence to bring them to justice. Witnesses point to these magnates, whose companies are based in Barranquilla, as financiers of the international plot against Venezuela. The only businessman arrested is based in Venezuela.
A noted commonality of the three figures is that they have all been owners, partners, or directors of the most important oil companies in Venezuela, which currently have their seat in Barranquilla, according to the investigation.
One of those named is Jorge Luis Cordero García, owner of the company Venoco Colombia SAS, who paid for the rent of an urban house in Barranquilla where Yacsy Alexandra Álvarez Mirabal, a Venezuelan accused by the Colombian judiciary of planning the logistics of Operation Gideon, was residing. This evidence was used to prosecute the woman, but was not used against the businessmen.
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The investigation revealed that Cordero is a partner of Ricardo Francisco Barreto Muskus, another of the oil-based businessmen hidden within this plot, who currently resides in Miami, although one of his most important companies is in Barranquilla. His companies, Solmico and Esquivenza SA, appear in documentation as Operation Gideon’s financiers.
What did they finance? According to RAYA, the financing helped 300 Venezuelan ex-servicemen to cover their expenses during training. This training was performed in different camps on the La Guajira peninsula (Colombia), under the tutelage of former US green beret Jordan Goudreau.
Their search for a grant began in 2019, when Goudreau called several businessmen in Miami and Washington in order to carry out his plan. These oil magnates were attracted to the proposal because it promised them preferential access to negotiate deals in the energy and mining sectors once Juan Guaidó assumed the presidency, following the planned assassination of President Maduro.
It is logical to imagine that it was all about an old dispute against the Venezuelan government; from 2010, these businessmen became archenemies of then-President Hugo Chávez, after his government expropriated the largest petrochemical company in the country, owned by Muskus: Venoklim. At that time, the businessman was accused of speculating on prices and exploiting his workers.
“About Muskus, it must also be said that he has been the historic president of Industrias Venoco CA, the largest umbrella company of another of the conspirators: Franklin Durán Guerrero, captured in Caracas on May 24, 2020, accused of financing the mercenary operation,” RAYA published. “According to a document issued by the Commercial Registry of the Chamber of Commerce of Oost, southern Netherlands, Barreto had also been a member of Venoklim’s Board of Directors since 2008. He was additionally the president of the Swedish company that controls Venoklim: International Petrokemiklim AB.”
One of the most notable elements of the investigation is that, despite this evidence available to the Francisco Barbosa Prosecutor’s Office in Colombia, the businessmen have not been charged. Yacsy Alexandra Álvarez Mirabal did not have the same luck.
Apparently, it is not enough that the Prosecutor’s Office has in its possession the financial contract related to the acquisition of a vehicle used to transport weapons destined for the attack; for said purchase, the company Venoco Colombia SAS, owned by Franklin Durán, was the co-signer.
So far, the only businessman arrested is Franklin Durán Guerrero, and that’s because he was captured in Venezuela. The other two, Jorge Luis Cordero García and Ricardo Francisco Barrero Muskus, enjoy full freedom, are not accused by the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office and still have their companies in Barranquilla.
The other thing that is known is history: a clumsy attempt was made by former Colombian president, Iván Duque, to project the idea that Operation Gideon was a self-coup planned from Venezuela; Duque invented an attack and the conspiracies continued from the Colombian territory controlled by Uribismo at that time.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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