Venezuela vows to ‘root out’ plots after Maduro alleged assassination bid backed by Colombia
August 7, 2018
Venezuelan authorities vowed Monday to “root out” plots against President Nicolas Maduro after what they said was a weekend drone “assassination” bid backed by Colombia.
An accusation by Maduro that his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos, was behind the incident has worsened already fraught ties between Caracas and Bogota.
Santos, who hands over power to elected successor Ivan Duque on Tuesday, has categorically rejected the accusation. His government has labeled it “absurd.”
A live broadcast of the incident on Venezuelan state television showed Maduro interrupted in midspeech by an explosion and looking up in confusion.
Dozens of soldiers on parade are then seen breaking ranks and running away in panic.
Maduro and his government said the president had been targeted by two flying drones carrying explosives. But details of the incident remain unclear, with conflicting information coming from various sources.
The Maduro administration blamed the alleged attack on Colombia, working with the “ultra far-right” Venezuelan opposition, and financed by unnamed figures in Florida.
No evidence was given to support the allegations. Thousands of exiled Venezuelans live in Colombia and in Florida.
The 55-year-old Socialist leader had been expected to address Maduro’s supporters — most of them workers — who marched through Caracas in what would have been his first public appearance since Saturday’s incident.
But he failed to show. The communications ministry did not explain his absence.
“We had hoped to see him today. But we imagine he didn’t come out for security reasons,” said one supporter, 36-year-old Margot Sivira.
Linda Estrada, 48, added: “They aren’t going to give them the pleasure of killing him.”
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