Report: Erik Prince Pitched Plan To Topple Venezuela’s Govt. With Mercenaries
Erik Prince, the founder of the private security firm Blackwater and an influential supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, hopes to gain support in a plan to deploy a private army to initiate a coup on Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, according to Reuters.
Four sources with knowledge of the efforts said that Prince has sought investment and political support from prominent Trump supporters and wealthy Venezuelan exiles.
Prince planned to gather between 4,000 and 5,000 mercenaries from Colombia and other Latin American nations on behalf of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, yet Venezuela opposition officials claim they have not discussed security operations with Prince.
Lital Leshem, the director of investor relations at Prince’s private equity firm, Frontier Resource Group, confirmed Prince’s interest in Venezuela security operations.
“He does have a solution for Venezuela, just as he has a solution for many other places,” she said, declining to elaborate.
Prince, the brother of Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, argued that Venezuela needs a “dynamic event” to break the stalemate that has continued since January, when Guaido declared Maduro’s 2018 re-election illegitimate.
White House National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis declined to comment when asked whether Prince had proposed his plan to the government and whether it would be considered.