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Attempted assassination of President Nicolás Maduro thwarted PDF Print E-mail
Written by victor gil   
Wednesday, 15 August 2018 00:00

Attempted assassination of President Nicolás Maduro thwarted

 

 

 

On August 4, during an event in Caracas celebrating the 81stanniversary of the creation of the Bolivarian National Guard, and while President Nicolás Maduro was giving a speech, two powerful explosions were heard near the stage. 
 
The president’s security detail immediately activated their security protocols and evacuated the president, his family,
 high level government officials and members of the military high command, as well as members of the diplomatic corps who were participating in the event.
 
An investigation was begun immediately and the Attorney General appointed three federal attorneys with broad experienced in organized crime and political conspiracies to establish the facts and bring those responsible to justice.

 

Initial results of the investigation

 

The explosions were caused by drones that were laden with 1 kilogram of C-4 each, ahigh intensity explosive with a 50 meter blast radius. There drones were model DJI-M600, which are typically used for industrial and audio-visual work.
 
The onsite investigation and declarations given by six suspects who were arrested reveal that the plan consisted of causing the drones to explode directly above and in front of the stage where President Maduro and high levelgovernment officials were located.
 
The president’s security team diverted one of the drones by jamming its signal, which caused it to explode far from its intended target, while the other drone crashed against a nearby residential building and exploded. Unfortunately, seven members of the military were injured, three of them seriously.

 

Preliminary conclusions

 

This attack was an attempt to end the life of the President of the Republic, an act which is codified in Venezuelan legislation as terrorism and attempted assassination. It must be noted that one of the alleged perpetrators had participated in the political violence of 2014, for which he was detained and later granted freedom. Another of the suspects is linked to an attack on a military base in Valencia by a paramilitary group in 2017. This attack we welcomed in Miami by spokespersons for Venezuela’s extremist right wing groups who participated in the 2002 coup d’état and other terrorist acts committed in the past year.
 
Declarations made during the investigation are further evidence that this criminal act is linked to the plan of aggression against Venezuela that has been publicly supported by the outgoing president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos. In the days before the attack, he issued reckless declarations announcing that “we are in the final hours of Maduro.” Furthermore, the government of Venezuela is convinced that behind the attempted assassination are extremist right wing Venezuelan groups with the complicity of powerful economic and political actors that operate from Colombia with offshoots in Miami, Florida.

 

Declarations by the Attorney General

As part of the investigations being carried out by the Office of the Public Prosecutor and agencies of the Judicial Branch, three of the detainees were presented in court to begin their judicial processes. 
 
In addition to this, the Attorney General has requested the cooperation of Colombia and the United States in handing over the Venezuelan citizens linked to the act.
 
After interrogations that were witnessed by federal attorneys, who guaranteed the suspects’ human rights and due process, several raids were carried out and evidence was collected that established direct links to 19 people who were directly involved in the attempted assassination.
 
The alleged financiers have been located in 
Colombia and the United States. The Office of the Public Prosecutor is processing their extraditions according to international conventions.

 

Evidence offered by President Nicolás Maduro

 

 

 

On August 7, President Maduro addressed the nation and presented some of the evidence obtained by the investigators, including declarations by the suspects in which they confirm that the terrorists were trained in Colombia, specifically in the community of Chinácota, which has the highest paramilitary presence in the department of North Santander. The suspects also declared that they had also considered the possibility of carrying out their attack during massive events such as July 5 (Independence Day) in Caracas or July 24 (Simón Bolívar’s birthday) in Carabobo.
 
The President screened part of the interview with Juan Carlos Monasterio, alias ‘Bons’, one of the alleged perpetrators who gave details of who they met with, and who financed and trained them. Monasterio already had an arrest warrant out for participating in the terrorist attack on Fort Paramacay, a military base in Valencia, on August 6, 2017.
 
Two legislators were among those implicated by the alleged perpetrators: Julio Borges, who is in Colombia, and Juan Requesens, who was detained by Venezuelan authorities.
 
President Maduro stressed that a former police official with links to the Venezuelan right wing, who is allegedly the leader of the assassination attempt, was invited to Iván Duque swearing-in ceremony as President of Colombia. He also showed a video of a talk show host in the U.S. who claimed to have knowledge of the attack before it happened and threatened that more attempts are coming. 
 
The President congratulated the “people’s intelligence work” by nearby residents, who not only provided important testimony but were instrumental in the capture of the suspects when they surrounded them after hearing the explosions and the initial reports of an attempted attack.  
 
Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez gave a press conference today where he presented new evidence and videos of confessions.  One of these confessions was by Juan Requesens, who admitted to being complicit in the attempted assassination of President Maduro and also identified Julio Borges as a mastermind in the plot.
 
The Minister also urged the governments of Colombia and the United States to respond to extradition requests in accordance with international treaties.
 

 

Reactions

This regrettable attack was denounced by President Maduro as not being compatible with the political culture of Venezuela, where assassinations and murders of political and social leaders are not the norm. These methods have historically been used to terrorize the people of Colombia, and now they are unfortunately being exported to Venezuela to destabilize our democracy.
 
Furthermore, the investigation has linked the attack to opposition groups in Miami, Florida. In this regard, President Nicolás Maduro has urged the 
administration of Donald Trump to collaborate with the investigation given that political operatives and financiers implicated in the events are in the U.S.
 
Venezuela’s Military High Command rejected the attempted assassination and has warned that the Venezuelan armed force is solid and will defend the Constitution and legitimate government under the authority of the President and Commander-in-Chief.  They announced that under no circumstance will the armed force accept a violent rupture of the constitutional order.
 
The government of Venezuela has urged the Attorney General to carry out a thorough investigation to find out the truth. Venezuela will employ national and international law to bring those responsible to justice while guaranteeing their right to due process.

 

 

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela appreciates the countless expressions of solidarity, good wishes towards Venezuela and denunciations of this criminal act issued by various presidents, heads of state and government, political and social leaders, political parties, parliaments, public figures and social movements. It should also be noted that high levelofficials from the United Nations rejected this act of violence in Venezuela.

 

Press – Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the United States / August 10, 2018

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 August 2018 19:05
 

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