Venezuelan intelligence says it has foiled an assassination attempt against President Nicolas Maduro, which envisioned a group of rogue officers storming the presidential palace and installing an imprisoned general in his stead.
The plot by current and former military officers involved breaking retired General Raúl Isaías Baduel out from a maximum security prison in Fuerte Tiuna, where he is kept since 2017 for wanting to overthrow the government, and seizing state-run Venezolana de Televisió where he would be pronounced president. Intelligence agencies said they had been unraveling the plot for 14 months.
The main part of the plan that was scheduled for June 23-24, involved assassinating Maduro and leader of the National Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello, while seizing the Miraflores presidential palace as well as the Carlota military base in Caracas.
“140,000 seized cartridges for machine guns and several combat groups were predetermined to be used to capture president Nicolas Maduro,” Minister of Communications and Culture Jorge Rodriguez told the nation on Wednesday, announcing the arrests of conspirators.
#EnVivo ? | Planes golpistas contemplaban asesinato del presidente @NicolasMaduro y del presidente de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente @dcabellor aseveró el vicepresidente sectorial @jorgerpsuv pic.twitter.com/YapUWMCyYE
— Prensa Presidencial (@PresidencialVen) June 26, 2019
Rodriguez added that he believes Colombian president Ivan Duque and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera provided financing and other support for the plot, which was allegedly endorsed by US national security adviser John Bolton.
“The complicity and participation of Duque and the government of Colombia in this fascist attempt to assassinate me is evident,” Maduro said in reaction to the news. “Colombia is conspiring and we will not tolerate it!”
They are fascist groups, not just coup plotters. They are assailants of power, murderers who want to come to power on the basis of a bloodbath.'
Read more: Venezuela foils ‘Maduro assassination & military coup’ plot