Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

"Terrorists" Arrested Over Assassination Attempt On Nicolas Maduro

Santos, who is due to hand over power to the hardline right-winger and vocal Maduro critic Ivan Duque on Tuesday, had said this week that the Venezuelan "regime has to fall" and that he could "see it happening in the near future".

Maduro said the "far right" working in co-ordination with detractors in Bogota and Miami, including Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, were responsible.

Nearby residents said Sunday they saw a drone crash into a building and explode about two blocks away from where Maduro was speaking.

"We are determined, determined to defend our homeland, our constitution, our democracy, our institutions", he said.

David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America, said the "amateurish" attack made Mr Maduro appear vulnerable and did not appear to be a staged for political gain.

United States national security advisor John Bolton insisted Sunday that there was "no U.S. government involvement" and even suggested on "Fox News Sunday" that the incident could have been "a pretext set up by the regime itself".

While denying any U.S. role, he said that if Venezuela had "hard information" of a potential violation of USA law, "we will take a serious look at it".

"The few opposition voices remaining in Venezuela would be the first targets, as well as the citizens who support those opponents", Andrade said.

The foreign ministry in Damascus condemned "in the strongest possible terms the assassination attempt. which aimed at undermining the security and stability of the country". People screamed as they ran in the street below, she said.

Amid deadly, near-daily protests a year ago, a rogue police officer flew a stolen helicopter over the capital and launched grenades at several government buildings.

Nicolas Maduro, the leftist successor of Hugo Chavez, publicly claimed the two explosions, which are alleged to have injured seven National Guard soldiers, were "an assassination attempt" and part of a "right wing plot". Oscar Perez and several comrades were later killed in a gun battle after over six months at large. The stage where Maduro spoke had been removed. The authenticity of the message could not be independently verified, and the organization did not respond to a message from the AP.

"We are in the midst of a wave of civil war in Venezuela", Saab said.

Though several explosions and drones were originally reported by the government, Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol said on Sunday that only two drones, armed with plastic explosives, were used in the attack.

The parade Maduro attended was to mark the one-year anniversary of the Constitutional Assembly, a legislative body packed with Maduro loyalists that arrogated powers from the opposition-ruled National Assembly.

He has blamed Colombia for the incident but provided no evidence.

"We are going to bet for the good of our country", Maduro declared triumphantly moments before the explosion.

Photos on social media show bodyguards lifting multiple bulletproof shields in front of Maduro.

Both Cuban leaders expressed their "full solidarity and unconditional support for President Maduro", it said.

"That drone came after me", he said.

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