According to four anonymous sources, the founder of controversial private security firm Blackwater, Erik Prince, is pushing for a mercenary invasion of Venezuela to topple socialist president Nicholas Maduro. Prince had been gathering investment and political support over the last few months, reports Reuters. This is yet another effort by Prince, the brother of education secretary Betsy DeVos, to privatize war.
Prince hopes to supply 5,000 soldiers to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido following intelligence operations. A spokesman for Guaido, Edward Rodriguez, said that Guaido’s officials haven’t discussed security operations with Prince.
Several security experts from the U.S. and Venezuela say the plan could potentially set off a civil war.
A Prince spokesman, Marc Cohen, said this month that Prince “has no plans to operate or implement an operation in Venezuela.”
Prince thinks that Venezuela needs a “dynamic event” to break the deadlock between Guaido and Maduro that began in January when Guaido declared Madiro’s 2018 re-election illegitimate and became the interim president.
Maduro has criticized Guaido, calling him a U.S. puppet. The U.S. is using economic and diplomatic tactics to pressure Maduro to relent.
Although Guaido has expressed his desire for a peaceful resolution, Prince thinks that Guido can form his own military force because internationally, he is recognized as Venezuela’s rightful leader.
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