As get-rich-quick schemes go it was unusually complicated. Invade a foreign country you know little about. Abduct its president to the US. Collect a $15m bounty from the US government – and maybe an even bigger payoff from the people who then seize power.
The plan to overthrow Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, and bundle him off to Florida to face drug trafficking charges seemed foolproof to a former US army staff sergeant, Jordan Goudreau, as he mapped it out in a luxury Miami apartment in late 2019. The 43-year-old Canadian-American was certain his years as a green beret in Iraq and Afghanistan had prepared him for the task.
And for the opponents of Maduro he was addressing, it must have sounded convincing – even after the failure of a previous coup attempt in 2019.