Drones loaded with explosives detonated close to a military event where Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was giving an outdoor speech in Caracas on Saturday. The President and the rest of the government escaped unharmed in what Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez said was an “attack” against the leftist leader. Seven National Guard soldiers were injured, Rodriguez added. As Maduro was speaking about Venezuela’s economy in a televised broadcast, the audio suddenly went and he and others on the podium suddenly looked up, visibly startled. President Nicolas Maduro and the rest of the government escaped unharmed, officials said
The audio suddenly went as Maduro was speaking about Venezuela’s economy in a televised broadcast
Dramatic footage showed scores of soldiers who were lined up in ranks begin to run just before the transmission was abruptly cut. No group has yet said it was behind the alleged assassination attempt. However, in a televised speech hours after his address was cut short by apparent explosions, Maduro said he survived thanks to God, the people and the country’s armed forces, and he blamed Colombia and the United States for what he called a right-wing plot to kill him. The transmission cut just seconds later
Soldiers could be seen running away
He said “everything points” to a right-wing plot that initial investigation suggested originated in neighbouring Colombia. Several perpetrators were caught, he said, without elaborating. “That drone was coming for me but there was a shield of love,” Maduro said. “I am sure I will live for many more years.” Security forces check a building after the explosion was heard
Seven National Guard soldiers were injured
Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez said was an “attack” against the leftist leader
It comes exactly a year after fears of a coup in Venezuela were sparked when a video emerged of men in uniform saying they were launching an uprising against Maduro. In June of last year, rogue police officer Oscar Perez hijacked a helicopter and fired at government buildings in what he said was an action against a dictator. Perez was hunted down and killed by Venezuelan forces in January. While a National Guard captain, Juan Carlos Caguaripano, early last year attacked a military base with a group of current and former military officials. He was captured soon after. Venezuela is living under the fifth year of a severe economic crisis that has sparked malnutrition, hyperinflation and mass emigration. OPEC member Venezuela’s once-thriving socialist economy has collapsed since the 2014 fall of oil prices.