Venezuela detains U.S. citizens allegedly involved in incursion

Video credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on May 5, 2020 - Duration: 01:54s

Venezuela detains U.S. citizens allegedly involved in incursion

Venezuelan authorities have detained two U.S. citizens working with a U.S. military veteran who has claimed responsibility for a failed armed incursion into the oil producing country, President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday.

Libby Hogan reports.

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Venezuela detains U.S. citizens allegedly involved in incursion

Venezuela's leader says authorities stopped an "armed incursion" attempt on Sunday (May 3) in an alleged plot to oust him.

Offiicials say eight people were killed during the foiled incursion.

President Nicolas Maduro says the country's detained two U.S. citizens for the alleged failed attack and that the two were working with another U.S military veteran who has claimed responsibility.

On state TV, Maduro likened the plot to "Rambo" and said 13 quote "terrorists" were arrested on Monday.

He claims it was done in coordination with Washington aiming to enter the South American country via the Caribbean coast.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO, SAYING: "Yesterday, Sunday May 3, Venezuela faced down an attempted maritime incursion from terrorist mercenaries that were trained in Colombian territory under financing and support from the United States and the current Colombian government." Venezuela's attorney general said the contract was valued at $200 million US dollars and he alleged he had seen the signature of opposition leader Juan Guaido on the contract.

Maduro frequently accuses political rivals of attempts to overthrow him.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO, SAYING: "The main objective was to kill the Venezuelan president, a terrorist attack in the middle of a pandemic." Juan Guaido is recognised by the U.S and more than 50 countries as the legitimate leader.

Maduro also showed what he said were the U.S. passports and other identification cards belonging to Airan Berry and Luke Denman, who he said were in custody and had been working with American military veteran Jordan Goudreau, who leads a Florida-based security company called Silvercorp USA.

Goudreau identified himself as the organizer and confirmed those working with him to Reuters over the phone.

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