Caracas: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro survived what he called an “attempt against his life” involving explosive drones, blaming Colombia’s outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos and far-right elements for the foiled assassination bid. Maduro was evacuated from a stage on Saturday evening during a speech at an event to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard here after what authorities concluded was a “failed” and attempted “terrorist attack against the President”, reports CNN.
While he was in the middle of a pledge to lead the country toward an economic recovery, two drones loaded with explosives went off near the podium from where the President was speaking, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez confirmed to the media. “A flying object exploded near me, a big explosion. Seconds later there was a second explosion.” He initially thought the explosions were fireworks which were part of the parade.
“The preliminary investigation indicates that many of those responsible for the attack, the financiers and planners, live in the US in the state of Florida,” Maduro said.
On blaming Colombia for the attack, Maduro said: “All the investigations point to Bogota… They have tried to kill me today.” The Venezuelan government has long blamed Colombia for plotting overthrows. In response, the Colombian government said there was “no basis” to Maduro’s allegations. Meanwhile, an unknown group, “Soldados de Franela” emerged on Twitter, claiming responsibility for the attack, which it termed as “Operation Phoenix”, according to Efe news. (IANS)