Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Venezuelan president attacked in drone explosion

A man counts 1000 Bolivar-bills to buy groceries at the municipal market of Coche a neighbourhood of Caracas Enlarge this image FEDERICO PARRA AFP Getty Images FEDERICO PARRA AFP Getty Images
Andrew Cummings | 05 August, 2018, 11:02

According to officials, the explosions detonated while Maduro was delivering a televised speech at an event in the capital Caracas to mark the 81st anniversary of the Venezuelan army.

In the video below, shared on Twitter by Walla foreign affairs editor Guy Elster, Madura is seen on the podium speaking with the crowd about Venezuela's economy.

Two drones loaded with explosives went off near the president's stand, he added.

Venezuela's worldwide government broadcaster, TeleSUR, said on Twitter that the Venezuelan government confirmed an attempted attack on Maduro. State television in Venezuela showed President Maduro abruptly cutting short a speech on Saturday, Aug. 4, causing hundreds of soldiers present to break ranks and scatter.

Maduro said at no point did he panic, confident the military would protect him.

The United States and other countries have expressed alarm at the loyalist structure propping up Mr Maduro, saying Venezuelan democracy was being undermined.

He said the "far right" working in co-ordination with detractors in Bogota and Miami, including Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, were responsible.

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Just after the explosions, the cameras turned to a wide shot of uniformed military officers standing at attention in neat lines as they broke rank and began running.

Since assuming office in 2013, Mr Maduro's administration has drawn widespread condemnation from a string of nations world-wide for undermining democracy and violating human rights in his country.

A clandestine group formed by Venezuelan military members opposed to the regime of Nicolás Maduro claimed responsibility for an alleged attack Saturday on the Venezuelan leader.

"That drone was coming for me but there was a shield of love", Maduro said. Maduro has steadily moved to concentrate power as the nation reels from a crippling economic crisis.

Firefighters near the scene have disputed Mr Rodriguez's version of events. VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT TV/Handout via REUTERS TV.

It was later claimed by a group calling itself the "National Movement of Soldiers in Shirts". The Associated Press could not independently verify the authenticity of the message. Perez was hunted down and killed by Venezuelan forces.

"We showed that they are vulnerable", the group said in a tweet.

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