Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro has survived, what officials have called an apparent drone assassination attempt during a speech he was making at a military event. Government officials described drones armed with explosives detonating overhead after they were flown towards Maduro as he spoke to soldiers in Venezuela’s capital Caracas on Saturday afternoon.
In a televised national address late Saturday, Maduro said he was fine and laid the blame for the attack firmly at the feet of “right-wing imperial forces” who he said had hired the would-be assassins, telesurtv reported.
“They have tried to assassinate me today, and everything points to the Venezuelan ultra-right and the Colombian ultra-right, and the name of Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack,” he stated.
“I must inform that they have been captured – those who attempted to take my life – and they are being processed. I won’t say more, but the investigation is very advanced. I tell the Venezuelan opposition that I guarantee you can live in this country peacefully. If something happens to me, you will have to face millions of Campesinos and humble people making justice with their own hands,” he added.
“I am alive, and I can tell you that after this attempt, I am even more determined to fight for the revolution,” Maduro stressed.
Officials from the Colombian government were quick to deny the allegations.
As of yet, no other party has claimed responsibility for the alleged assassination attempt, however, one group, called Soldiers Franelas has suggested involvement in the attack as they tweeted: “We have shown [the government] is vulnerable,” the group, whose members are not known, said. “[The attack] wasn’t achieved today but it is just a matter of time [until it is].”
The live broadcast video of president Maduro’s speech that circulates online, shows the president and his wife looking to the sky after loud bangs were heard. The audio shortly cuts out and then we see a wide shot from the Avenida Bolivar, the central highway where the parade was taking place. Panic sets in and scores of soldiers can be seen fleeing the scene.