Bizarre Plots and Nasty Coverups

Inside the strange and unsettling events in Venezuela and Niger in this week's SpyTalk podcast

We haven’t paid a lot of attention to Latin America, what with so much else going on here at home on topics ranging from the “peanut butter spies” to Jan. 6 investigations to troubling news related to Afghanistan, China and Russia. But the looming extradition from Spain to the U.S. of Venezuela’s ex-spy boss last week caught my eye. So I called up David Smilde, a distinguished expert on Venezuela at Tulane University, who’s closely tracked events in Caracas, where intrigue and bizarre coup attempts seem to be part of the daily diet. We discussed all of those, particularly a weird plot to overthrow Nicolås Maduro that ended with former U.S. Special Forces troopers in jail, plus how the Biden administration is pretty much leaving Venezuela to stew in its own rancid juices—a pity for its suffering citizens.

Closer to home, SpyTalk podcast co-host Jeanne Meserve talks with ABC News investigative reporter James Gordon Meek about his disturbing new documentary, 3212 Un-Redacted, about the events surrounding the 2017 ambush of U.S. Green Berets in Niger. You can see a preview here. It premiers on Hulu on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

I think you’ll be as unsettled as we were to learn of the Army’s extensive cover-up of what really happened. Meek hopes his film will bring some relief to the families of the fallen, as well as a change in policy that will prevent a repeat of the tragic events.

Listen to the show on Apple or Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find our archive there of 27 previous episodes.