- According to Reuters, Blackwater founder Erik Prince has offered to send a private army to overthrow Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro. The U.S. has backed Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, and views him as the country’s legitimate president.
- Prince, a strong supporter of President Trump, has actively tried to secure the political support and funds needed to deploy an army of mercenaries. Prince has approached Venezuelan exiles and Trump supporters.
- According to sources, Prince’s plan is to send around 5000 hired soldiers to back Guaidó.
- Garrett Marquis, the White House National Security Council spokesman, wouldn’t comment to whether the U.S. government was aware of Prince’s plan. A different source said the White House wouldn’t agree with this plan of action.
- The Maduro government also declined to comment on the matter.
- Some experts called the plan “far-fetched and potentially dangerous” since it could initiate a civil war in Venezuela.
- A spokesman for Prince said he “has no plans to operate or implement an operation in Venezuela.”
- Prince’s motivation would be to privatize warfare and profit. He has previously sent private security contractors into war zones around the world.
- Blackwater is a private security firm that has been mired in controversy, including a 2007 incident where Blackwater employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. One of the employees was convicted of murder and three others were convicted of manslaughter.