Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez announced this afternoon that the Venezuelan authorities had captured 39 army deserters in the border with Colombia, and that the men were part of “Operacion Gedeon”. Padrino Lopez said that the men were captured while attempting to enter Venezuela.
On “Operacion Gedeon”, Padrino Lopez said:
[The operation was planned] abroad and financed and equipped by the government of the United States.
Despite its repeated assertions, the Maduro government has not presented any convincing evidence that the operation was financed by any foreign government. Silvercorp USA–the US-based company at the heart of the botched overthrow attempt–has provided security to Trump rallies in the past, there is no evidence that the company’s head and the White House developed any kind of relationship or coordinated on this. Video confessions from the two US citizens arrested as part of the plot that aired on Venezuelan state media were “highly edited” and filmed for propaganda purposes, and thus their content cannot be deemed reliable.
Padrino Lopez also warned that Venezuela’s defenses were “impregnable”, and that anyone who formed part of “Operacion Gedeon” was “an enemy of the homeland”.
Flores: Guaido “Cannot Save Himself” Now
First lady Cilia Flores said during a televised address today that opposition leader Juan Guaido “cannot save himself” from the aftermath of “Operacion Gedeon”, hinting that he may soon face legal consequences for his involvement in the failed plan.
Mr. Guaido cannot save himself from this. It was clearly proven that he was the head [of Operacion Gedeon] and that they were going to make him commander-in-chief [and] president if they achieved what they had planned.
With her comment, Flores appeared to be referencing the 41-page agreement that was published by the Washington Post between Silvercorp USA and the Venezuelan opposition. Page 39 of that document outlines a “Chain of Command” that names Juan Guaido as “Commander in Chief”.
While the document was signed by two high-ranking opposition figures (JJ Rendon and Sergio Vergara, both of whom have since resigned), it was not signed by Guaido. He continues to maintain that he had no role to play in the plot.
Maduro: 15 New COVID-19 Cases
Maduro announced this evening that there were 15 new cases of COVID-19 in the country over the last 24 hours, bringing the total since the outbreak began to 455.
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