Venezuela Court Sentences Former United States Army Special Forces Soldiers to 20 Years of Prison

The Court sentenced two former Green Berets, Luke Denman, and Airan Berry to 20 years in prison. The two men were held guilty of conspiracy, trafficking illegal arms, and terrorism. The judgment comes at a time of economic crisis that Venezuela has been facing.

Background

The two accused confessed to their part in the operation. The two men were arrested in Chuao, a coastal area in Venezuela. The trial was regarding a failed beach attack which was allegedly aimed at overthrowing President Nicolas Maduro. There is a third ex- Beret who could not be reached by the state. He is believed to be in the US. This third ex- beret, Jordan Goudreau, claimed responsibility for this attack on the president.

Arguments

The chief prosecutor claimed the duo took part in the operation Gideon. The attempt proved to be unsuccessful, but eight soldiers lost their lives while sixty-six of them were arrested. There have been issues raised regarding the trial and the urgency that was shown by the state. The hearing of the two accused occurred without their lawyers being informed; this leads to them being defended by a public defender.

Court’s decision

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The Court held Luke Denman and Airan Berry guilty of the crimes of conspiracy, trafficking illegal arms, and terrorism. The confession of the two accused has to lead to imprisonment for 20 years.

Implications

The decision has caused tensions in the international peace and relationships. The hostility between Washington and Caracas has increased. The power play between Mr Guaido supported by the Trump administration, and Mr Maduro, leading to instability of the government. The Venezuelan media has been portraying the two convicts to be proof of the involvement of the US government. The United States has since denied any truth in such allegations. In contrary to this denial secretary of state Mike Pompeo has announced that they will fight to win the freedom of the two convicts.


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