Venezuela Experiences Mercenary Attack

Venezuela Experiences Mercenary Attack

In the early hours of May 3, 2020, the Venezuelan Armed Force and the National Bolivarian Police repelled the incursion of a group of armed mercenaries into the coastal state of La Guaira.  The mercenaries, travelled from Colombia in speedboats and were planning, together with local accomplices, to initiate military operations aimed at government institutions and State officials, according to testimony given by those captured. 

Venezuelan intelligence gathered information from Colombia and were prepared to confront the incursion. Venezuelan forces engaged the armed mercenaries and as a result 8 of them died and 2 were captured.  Venezuela’s government said it had detained two Americans on Monday on suspicion of plotting to topple President Nicolas Maduro’s government, which has accused U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido of bankrolling the scheme.The arrests came a day after the government said it foiled an “invasion” from the sea, killing eight assailants and capturing two others.  Maduro appeared on state television to show the passports of Luke Denman, 34, and Airan Berry, 41, and told the Venezuelan military high command that the pair were members of the U.S. security forces.

According to the preliminary investigations, the operation was linked to another group of mercenaries based in Colombia, who under the orders of retired General Cliver Alcalá, had been training for months in Colombia and had acquired arms to carry out a series of attacks in Venezuela aimed at producing the violent overthrow of President Nicolas Maduro.  Alcala revealed his operations to Colombian media last March as Venezuelan authorities publicly denounced his actions. Alcalá then handed himself in to U.S. authorities and is still collaborating with them. 

Global Ministries partner, the Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Venezuela, shares a pastoral letter regarding this mercenary attack. Read the letters here in English and in Spanish.

Global Ministries consistently have expressed deep concerns in terms of any military intervention against Venezuela, either by the U.S. or by third countries.  Our General Ministers and Presidents, the two Global Ministries Co-Executives and the Area Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean have sent three letters within the past four years, urging President Trump to refrain from any escalation on the conflict with Venezuela.  You can see the letters here:

Advocacy Recommendations

Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ has been engaged in a relationship of solidarity and accompaniment with the Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Venezuela for more than 60 years. Now we watch with deep concern this mercenary attack in that country and the humanitarian impact of U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan oil.  Every time Venezuela, or any other country in Latin America and the Caribbean, has suffered a military episode in its recent history, the lives of the poorest and the most vulnerable populations have been severely damaged.

We encourage contacting your legislators with the following advocacy messages:

-Support for HR1004 Prohibiting Unauthorized Military Action in Venezuela

-Support for dialogue with no conditions through the Latin American and European-led International Contact Group

-Affirm the right of the Venezuelan people to self-determination

-Call for an end to U.S.-imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela   

As we prepare to double our efforts to proclaim peace for Venezuela, we appreciate your accompaniment in prayer and solidarity with our Partner Church there.  It is crucial to lift our voices through our representatives in the Congress to avoid military and economic measures to promote confrontation and the lack of respect for the self-determination of the people of Venezuela. 


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