Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Personal documents are shown by Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (not pictured) during a meeting with the Bolivarian armed forces a day after Venezuela's government said it foiled an attempted incursion by "terrorist mercenaries" from Colombia, at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela.


A Canadian who served with the U.S. Army Special Forces says he was at the centre of a thwarted coup attempt in Venezuela this past weekend – and described his role in the plot on Twitter.

Before fighting with the Green Berets in Iraq and Afghanistan, Jordan Goudreau, 43, has said he enlisted with the Canadian Forces in the 1990s and studied computer science at the University of Calgary.

Mr. Goudreau, now a U.S. citizen, retired from the U.S. military a few years ago to start a Florida-based security contractor called Silvercorp USA. Mr. Goudreau showed up on social media on the weekend saying he had helped arrange the coup attempt and regretted he was unable to join two fellow former members of the Green Berets who were captured trying to infiltrate Venezuela by boat with a group of others.

Story continues below advertisement

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro presides over a country in economic free fall, and the West has criticized his autocratic rule. Early this week, he said his officials detained two Americans among a group of “mercenaries” that were part of a plot co-ordinated by the U.S. government and backed by Colombia.

U.S. President Donald Trump has denied any involvement. “It has nothing to do with our government,” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday.

In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday Mr. Goudreau spoke about plotting a “daring, amphibious raid” launched from Colombia.

“Our men are continuing to fight right now. Our units have been activated in the south, west and in the east of Venezuela,” said Mr. Goudreau, wearing a ball cap and golf shirt.

Drew White, who served with Mr. Goudreau in the Green Berets in Iraq, said he was a single-minded force of nature as a soldier. “He was incredible. He was who you wanted in the trenches with you," Mr. White said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

He described Mr. Goudreau as a decorated U.S. commando – and the best man at his wedding. Mr. White said he and Mr. Goudreau served with Airan Berry and Luke Denman, the two former U.S. soldiers captured in Venezuela.

Story continues below advertisement

"It’s sad,” Mr. White said. “Honestly, they were exceptional guys with exceptional service and then they just blow it up over this.”

On Monday in a nationwide televised address, Mr. Maduro said his authorities arrested 13 “terrorists” and several people were killed in the attempt. Officials said Tuesday that six suspected attackers died.

Mr. Maduro showed what he said were the U.S. passports and other identification cards of Mr. Berry and Mr. Denman. Venezuela’s Attorney-General has said the government has arrested 114 people in connection with the attempted attack.

Mr. Goudreau did not respond to requests from The Globe for comment. But he has told other newspapers in recent days the landing in Venezuela was part of a mission he called Operation Gideon, and that he had been in close communication with the two captured Americans.

The U.S. government “should engage and try to get these guys back,” Mr. Goudreau told The Washington Post.

The Associated Press quoted Mr. Goudreau as saying he reached an agreement with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to overthrow Mr. Maduro’s regime. Mr. Guaido has denied any involvement.

Story continues below advertisement

The United States is waging a sanctions campaign against Mr. Maduro’s government. Canada and the U.S. support Mr. Guaido as interim leader of Venezuela. Canada has played an active role in the Lima Group, a block of countries working to find a peaceful solution to the situation in the South American country.

Observers say opposition to the Maduro regime is growing. “There have been other militant opposition groups that have popped up and disappeared,” said Giancarlo Fiorella, a researcher for Bellingcat, a digital investigation organization.

But, he added, nothing about this weekend’s coup attempt makes sense. “We’ve been scratching our heads at every step of it," he said.

According to his biography on LinkedIn, Mr. Goudreau served as a Canadian Forces soldier while he studied computer science at the University of Calgary between 1994 and 1998. (The University of Calgary confirms he attended the school, while the Department of National Defence did not respond to queries about his status.)

His LinkedIn profile says he worked for a few years in Washington before enlisting with the U.S. army several months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Story continues below advertisement

He served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a sergeant first class with the 10th Special Forces Group in Germany – which is part of the Green Berets.

“We were essentially carrying out strike missions against high-level terrorist leaders,” Mr. White said. He said his friend had spent time in the Canadian Forces. "He told me ‘I’m from Canada, I got my degree in Canada, and then I moved to D.C.’ ”

Mr. White said Mr. Goudreau’s military career ended when he was nearing the age of 40, after he suffered back injuries and a concussion in a parachuting accident.

In 2018, Silvercorp USA was founded in Florida by Mr. Goudreau.

Mr. White said the corporate plan was to sell the services of former commandos to guard schoolchildren from potential threats such as shootings. “It was set up in order to place transitioning special-operations soldiers into schools,” Mr. White said.

Mr. White said he gave some advice to help set Silvercorp up, but broke ties with the company more than a year ago, when Mr. Goudreau started talking about launching an operation in Venezuela.

Story continues below advertisement

He wanted no part of it.

“I used to be an assaulter. I used to kick in doors to the left and right of him,” Mr. White said. “But that’s a chapter of my life that’s done.”

With reports from Mike Hager, Rick Cash, Reuters and Associated Press

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the authors of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies