Venezuelans March in Support of Maduro After Failed Attack

Posted August 07, 2018

According to the Venezuelan government, the would-be assassins used two explosive-equipped drones in their attack, and the attack injured seven soldiers but didn't harm Maduro.

Interior Minister Reverol said six "terrorists and hired killers" had been arrested, several vehicles seized and hotels raided.

"These attacks that can be mounted by just a few individuals flying drones are the kinds of things you'd expect to see in a country where it's very hard to organize any other type of resistance movement", Trinkunas says.

Reverol said one of the detained had an outstanding arrest warrant for his alleged role in the August 2017 attack on a military base in Valencia.

Earlier on Twitter, the group said it was made up of "patriotic military personnel and civilians loyal to the Venezuelan people who seek to rescue the democracy of a nation under dictatorship".

"They tried to assassinate me today", Maduro said on Saturday evening, claiming that "I have no doubt that everything is pointing at the Venezuelan right, the extreme right in alliance with the Colombian extreme right".

Opposition critics accuse Maduro of fabricating or exaggerating security incidents to distract from hyperinflation and Soviet-style product shortages.

Afterward, Maduro gave a defiant speech in which he accused Venezuelan opposition groups, financial backers in Florida, and Colombia's outgoing president, Nobel Peace Prize victor Juan Manuel Santos, of trying to assassinate him.

United States national security advisor John Bolton insisted there was "no USA government involvement" and even suggested that the incident may have been "a pretext set up by the regime itself".

He called on Mr Trump to arrest the terrorists. Maduro also said some of those who had planned to kill him were living in the United States. The broadcast was quickly cut.

The government has also pointed the finger at the opposition, prompting fears of a new crackdown.

Here's what happened. Per the Associated Press, at around 5:30pm ET, Maduro took the stage at a celebration of the National Guard's 81st anniversary.

US President Donald Trump has been harshly critical of Maduro's leftist regime, saying it has "destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a failed ideology". The second drone fell into an apartment building, where it exploded on the first floor.

Open calls for military intervention have grown after massive anti-government protests a year ago failed to unseat Maduro and he was re-elected in a May vote widely decried as a sham.

"Venezuela will continue on the democratic, independent and socialist path", he said.

State television footage of the rally showed Maduro startled by what appeared to be an explosion and footage later panned to soldiers lined up on a boulevard who chaotically broke ranks in what appeared to be a reaction to a second blast.

This year he brought forward to May presidential elections - boycotted by the opposition - which handed him a new six-year term.