The Grayzone speaks to Drew White – a close friend and business partner of Silvercorp mercenary firm founder and failed Venezuela coup leader Jordan Goudreau – about the botched invasion and potential involvement of the Trump administration.
By Anya Parampil
On May 5, I spoke at length to Drew White, a former US Army Green Beret and the COO of the Silvercorp mercenary firm which spearheaded a botched invasion of in Venezuela on Sunday, May 3. On May 4, I made contact with Jordan Goudreau, the Silvercorp CEO whom US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido and his Miami-based advisor, J.J. Rendon, personally contracted to lead the operation.
While Goudreau seemed nervous and suggested I call back the following day, White spoke at length about his peripheral knowledge of the failed plot as well as his relationship with the two Americans Green Berets currently in Venezuelan custody.
White lives in Colorado Springs, a good distance from Melbourne, Florida, where both Silvercorp and Goudreau are based. He said he broke with Goudreau over the boneheaded coup plot, telling The Grayzone he thought it sounded insane.
White emphasized that he was uncomfortable with the plan because its leaders did not appear to have concrete US government backing. He said that although Goudreau claimed to have a State Department contract, he hadn’t seen one, which led him to question the legality of the operation. White hoped his army buddy and former best man at his wedding did not go through with the mission. He wished they had stuck with their original business plan, which was to provide school security.
But unfortunately, the plot went through, even after Goudreau– whom White described as a “true believer”– had been exposed by name in the Associated Press. Now two of their army friends are in Venezuelan custody, and face criminal prosecution in the country for planning to kidnap and possibly kill its elected leader, President Nicolas Maduro.
So what drove Goudreau and his crew to follow through on their batshit operation? And what did Mike Pompeo’s State Department know about it, and when? White’s testimony raises they key question: why did Goudreau believe he had a State Department contract in the first place?
Pompeo says the US government had no “direct involvement” in the operation. Even if true, his assertion still leaves the door open to possible indirect support, such as reconnaissance or logistics assistance. What’s more, just days before Goudreau’s failed operation, Pompeo told reporters he was instructing his team to “update [their] plans to re-open the US embassy in Caracas”. Why?
In the video above, I put these questions to White and offers my own thoughts about them afterwards, asking how it is possible that US citizens were running a private military operation in Colombia without the knowledge of US embassy staff in Bogotá. I also question the role of US diplomat James Story, who has managed a “U.S. Virtual Embassy” to Venezuela out of the Colombian capital since he was kicked out of Caracas last spring.
A full transcript of the interview can be found here.