CARACAS – US-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has accepted the resignation of two of his aides who are currently wanted by Caracas on charges of a botched armed incursion into the country to topple President Nicolas Maduro, Spain’s EFE news agency reported on Monday, citing Guaido’s office.
It comes after Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez unveiled last week a 41-page contract worth $213 million between the US-backed Venezuelan opposition and a Florida-based (PMC) private military company Silvercorp USA to “capture/detain/remove” Maduro.
The paper is believed to have signatures of Guaido himself; Sergio Vergara, a member of the opposition-controlled parliament; and Miami-based political consultant Juan Jose Rendon. Vergara and Rendon have now divided to step down as the opposition leader’s aides.
On May 3, Venezuelan authorities announced that they had scuttled an attempt of US-backed terrorists to infiltrate the country from Colombia on speed boats to capture Maduro. Eight suspects were killed and several captured in the counter-terrorist operation conducted by Venezuelan special forces, among them two US nationals. Maduro later identified them as US President Donald Trump’s security guards.
The United States and Columbia have denied allegations of involvement in these events, with Colombian Foreign Ministry claiming in a statement that the Venezuelan government was “just trying to deflect attention from the internal crisis in the country”.
Still, both the US and the Colombian government failed to explain how such a large, heavily armed group of terrorists managed to fly from Florida to Colombia and then slip past all Colombian patrols from Bogota to the Venezuelan border and even cross the Colombian side of the border unopposed.
The political crisis in Venezuela worsened after January 2019, when Guaido, backed by the US, illegally proclaimed himself interim president of the country. President Maduro, who has been elected in a legal manner, has denounced the self-proclaimed “president Guaido” as a US puppet for seeking to stage a coup in Venezuela and seize the country’s sovereign assets which would then be acquired by US corporations.