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Venezuela dictatorship imposes up to 30 year sentences for alleged 'Operation Gideon' participants

The 29 convicted individuals were labeled participants in the purported operation, an alleged plot led by former soldiers who in 2020 allegedly tried to depose Maduro through a planned incursion from outside the country

 El fiscal general de Venezuela Tarek William Saab
El fiscal general de Venezuela Tarek William Saab | EFE

May 23, 2024 9:55am

Updated: May 25, 2024 10:10am

Through its Attorney General’s Office, the Venezuelan Chavista regime announced on Wednesday the imposition of sentences of up to 30 years in prison for those it has labeled “conspirators,” purportedly involved in a purported, attempted overthrow of communist dictator, Nicolás Maduro.

The 29 convicted individuals were identified as participants in the so-called “Operation Gideon,” an alleged plot led by former soldiers who in 2020 tried to depose Maduro through a planned incursion from outside the country.

“Of these 29 defendants, 20 have been sentenced to 30 years in prison and 9 to 21 years,” Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced.

According to Saab, the operation was organized abroad, specifically in the United States, and prepared in Colombia with the objective, supposedly, of attacking and invading Venezuela.

Among those sentenced to 30 years in prison is Josnars Baduel, son of Gen. Raúl Baduel. The latter was a former ally of Hugo Chávez, but, after deciding to politically oppose Chavismo, he ended up imprisoned and died in prison in 2021.

What was “Operation Gideon” about?

'Operation Gideon' was a failed armed raid, allegedly led by Jordan Goudreau, a former U.S. Special Forces soldier. The objective of this operation was to capture the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, and hand him over to the U.S. authorities to collect a reward.

According to testimonies from some involved who managed to escape, the plan included Juan Guaidó assuming the presidency of Venezuela, taking advantage of his self-swearing in as interim president.

The operation was reportedly conceived by Goudreau in collaboration with retired Gen. Cliver Alcalá, who was tried in the United States for money laundering. Goudreau organized training in several camps in Colombia, despite the capture of Alcalá.

In May 2020, insurgents attempted to land on the coast of La Guaira, but were intercepted by Venezuelan forces, resulting in the deaths of nine "mercenaries" and the capture of several more, including two American veterans: Airan Berry and Luke Denman. The Americans were later freed and handed over to their country in a prisoner exchange that resulted in the release of Colombian Alex Saab, accused of being a “front man” for Maduro.

Who are the Venezuelans accused and sentenced by Maduro prosecutors?

This Wednesday, a Venezuelan court issued sentences for 29 people involved in the operation. The sentences listed below represent the maximum penalty in the Venezuelan judicial system, which range up to 30 years in prison, the maximum allowed in the country.

Those sentenced were accused of engaging terrorism, treason, conspiracy, rebellion, trafficking in weapons of war and criminal association against the communist dictatorship include:


  • Coronel Oscar Pérez Romero
  • Pete Richard Alemán
  • Capitán Dimas Murillo
  • Angelo Rosales
  • Capitán Franklin Leal
  • Capitán Carlos Arturo Rosario
  • Josnar Baduel
  • Capitán Leonardo Briceño
  • Capitán Francisco Luna
  • Gerardo Goitichea
  • Karen Hernández
  • Capitán Elías Felipe César
  • Tony Guevara
  • Capitán Renny Olivares


30 years in prison for treason, conspiracy and criminal association:

  • Junior Ojeda
  • Víctor Perozo

30 years in prison for financing terrorism, treason and criminal association:

  • Franklin Durán
  • Alejandro Torres
  • Justo Daza
  • Alfredo Schiavo

21 years in prison for conspiracy and association to commit a crime:

  • Carla da Silva
  • Leonardo Carillo
  • Leonardo Chirinos
  • Ana María Pernía
  • Andreina Alemán
  • Yolimar Alemán de Chaya
  • Erick Chaya
  • Franchier Ramos
  • Mary Francés Marcano

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