Two former US soldiers arrested in Venezuela for attempting an armed " invasion " of the South American country by sea in May have been sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Venezuelan court, the attorney general said.
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Luke Alexander Denman, 34, and Airan Berry, 41, " confessed " to being guilty of " conspiracy, association (of criminals, editor's note), arms trafficking and terrorism, " Tarek said William Saab on Twitter the night of Friday to Saturday. “ They were sentenced to 20 years in prison, ” he said.
Last May, this affair had once again strained the already very tense relations between Washington and the government of Socialist President Nicolas Maduro. He accused his American counterpart Donald Trump of having " directly directed " this " armed incursion " killed in the bud on May 3 in which Denman and Berry, two former American special forces soldiers, had participated.
According to the Venezuelan government, that day, the Venezuelan army and police had succeeded in stopping the " attempted sea invasion " fomented by " mercenaries from Colombia " on the Macuto shore, unless they were. an hour's drive from Caracas, on the Caribbean coast. Denman and Berry were arrested the next day in the coastal village of Chuao, 80 km west of Caracas.
A "Bay of Pigs remake"
Eight " terrorists " were killed in the operation and several dozen others arrested. According to Caracas, the " terrorists " intended to overthrow Nicolas Maduro to " install " in his place Juan Guaido, the leader of the Venezuelan opposition whom nearly sixty countries recognize as interim president.
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" It's a remake of the Bay of Pigs ", the failed operation mounted by Cuban exiles and the CIA in 1961 to overthrow Fidel Castro, then thundered Nicolas Maduro.
Nicolas Maduro accuses Juan Guaido of having set up the entire operation with a former American soldier, Jordan Goudreau, and a Venezuelan from Miami, Juan José Rendon, to instigate this " coup " against him.
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Washington and Bogota have denied any involvement in the business and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the United States will do anything to repatriate Luke Denman and Airan Berry. The Trump administration is trying at all costs to oust the " dictator " Nicolas Maduro, to whom it denies any legitimacy.