Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wants President Donald Trump to help him fight the “far-right” “terrorists” that he claims are responsible for a failed assassination attempt on Saturday.
Maduro blamed Venezuelan expats, who he says reside in Colombia and in the United States — specifically in the state of Florida — for the attack. He promised a “crackdown” on his rivals, and called on the leaders of both Colombia and the U.S. to help him root out his exiled enemies and export them to face justice in Venezuela.
The Daily Mail reports that Maduro made the claims in a speech late Saturday night, as part of his “retelling” of the assassination attempt which came by drone while Maduro was making an appearance at a military parade. According to accounts, Maduro was giving a speech when a “flying device” armed with an explosive, detonated overhead. Maduro and his wife were “shaken,” but unhurt.
“This was an attempt to kill me,” Maduro told audiences in an interview on state television. “They have tried to assassinate me and everything points to the Venezuelan ultra-right in alliance with the Colombian far right and that the name of [Columbian President] Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack.”
Columbia dismissed Maduro’s claims as “baseless.” Sunday morning, Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, told Fox News that the United States had “no involvement” in any possible drone attack on the Venezuelan leader.
“I can say unequivocally there was no U.S. government involvement in this at all,” Bolton told “Fox News Sunday.” “If the government of Venezuela has hard information that they want to present to us that would show a potential violation of U.S. criminal law, we’ll take a serious look at it, but in the meantime I think what we really should focus on is the corruption and oppression in the Maduro regime in Venezuela.”
Bolton added that the Maduro government routinely accuses other nations of plotting attacks and undermining Venezuela’s economic stability. Although he did not say it outright, Bolton implied that Maduro is trying to direct his citizens’ ire elsewhere, as the Venezuelan economic system collapses under Maduro’s socialistic rule.
Back in Venezuela, there are conflicting reports as to what caused the explosion. Although Maduro and others say that the president came under fire from several drone-like flying objects armed with explosives, local fire fighters say that the explosion was the result of a “gas tank” that caught fire.