Venezuela President Maduro ties opposition leader to drone attack

Galtero Lara
Agosto 9, 2018

Venezuelan Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, announced Wednesday that 19 individuals have been identified as being directly involved in the failed assassination attempt against the country's President Nicolás Maduro.

"Neither the country nor the world believe you when it comes to this farce of an attack, we all know that it was staged to persecute and repress those of us who oppose your dictatorship", Julio Borges wrote on Twitter.

In the attack, two drones armed with explosives detonated near Maduro as he spoke outdoors during a military celebration Saturday evening.

The Venezuelan president claims that information obtained from six suspects points to the involvement of Julio Borges, an opposition leader living in exile in Colombia.

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In a speech on Tuesday, Maduro said Julio Borges, a prominent opposition leader living in exile in neighboring Colombia, was a co-conspirator in the plot, but he did not elaborate on what role the politician had played. Images on live television showed Maduro and his wife looking up at the sky at one blast and then hundreds of soldiers scrambling.

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The six suspects arrested earlier face charges of treason, attempted murder and terrorism.

Critics of Maduro's socialist government said immediately after the drone explosions that they feared the unpopular leader would use the incident as an excuse to round up opponents as he seeks to dampen spreading discontent over Venezuela's devastating economic collapse.

According to the opposition Requesens and his sister Rafaela Requesens, a student leader, were arrested in their Caracas apartment on Tuesday night, after President Nicolas Maduro ordered a crackdown following drone explosions at a weekend rally. But Diosdado Cabello, the powerful leader of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela and president of the National constitutional Assembly, said in a tweet that he planned to introduce legislation stripping them and any other lawmakers accused in the alleged attack of this protection. One video included a purported confession by a handcuffed suspect, whose face was blurred out. Several soldiers seated in the audience had white bandages on their heads, apparently injured in the assassination attempt.

Saab also detailed evidence linking Raider Ruso and former Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) colonel Oswaldo Garcia, who are located in Colombia and the United States respectively, to the attack.

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