Venezuela vows to eradicate plots after Maduro ‘assassination’ bid

Caracas: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday renewed his accusation against his Colombian counterpart, blaming him for what Caracas has called a drone “assassination” attempt on the Socialist leader over the weekend.
In a video posted on Twitter shortly before midnight, the 55-year-old said police and the military had captured some of the conspirators and were now hunting the masterminds.
“There is sufficient evidence of the participation of the outgoing Colombian government of president Juan Manuel Santos,” he added, promising to release proof “in the next few hours.”
The allegation has worsened already fraught ties between Caracas and Bogota. Santos, who handed over power to elected successor Ivan Duque on Tuesday, has categorically denied it.
A live broadcast of Saturday’s incident on Venezuelan state television showed Maduro interrupted in mid-speech by an explosion and looking up in confusion.
Dozens of soldiers on parade are then seen breaking ranks and running away in panic.
Maduro and his government said the president had been targeted by two flying drones carrying explosives. But details of the incident remain unclear, with conflicting information coming from various sources.
The Maduro administration said Colombia had collaborated on the attack with the “ultra far-right” Venezuelan opposition, and it was financed by unnamed figures in the US state of Florida. No evidence was given to support the allegations. Thousands of exiled Venezuelans live in Colombia and in Florida.
Maduro had been expected to address his supporters — most of them workers — who marched through Caracas in what would have been his first public appearance since Saturday’s incident. But he failed to show. The communications ministry did not explain his absence. — AFP