Erik Prince arrives for the New York Young Republican Club Gala at The Yale Club of New York City in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., November 7, 2019. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

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Blackwater founder Erik Prince arrives for a closed meeting with members of the House Intelligence Committee, Nov. 30, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince - the founder of the controversial private security firm Blackwater and a prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump - has been pushing a plan to deploy a private army to help topple Venezuela's socialist president, Nicholas Maduro, four sources with knowledge of the effort told Reuters.

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Blackwater founder Erik Prince arrives for a closed meeting with members of the House Intelligence Committee, Nov. 30, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince's new company is reportedly operating in Iraq, a country from which his former company was banned for killing civilians.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo / Sgt. Lucas Hopkins.

Neither the Afghan government nor the U.S. military believes in Erik Prince’s plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan, the commander of U.S. Central Command said on Thursday.

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Miller Center/Flickr

The former founder and CEO of Blackwater says he needs just six months and roughly 3,600 men to make the Afghan War look far different from the shitshow it is now.

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AP Photo / Khalid Mohammed.

Breaking from his usual detachment, Defense Secretary James Mattis called bullshit on Erik Prince's scheme to hand over the Afghanistan war to mercenaries.

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