Venezuelan President Maduro survives assassination attempt, says I am alive

Nicolas Maduro

Caracas, Aug 5: Blaming far-right elements and Colombia’s outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos for carrying out the foiled assassination bid,Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro said “I am alive and victorious.”

Venezuela’s president Maduro has survived an  assassination attempt after several drone explosions disrupted a speech at a military event.

“I am alive and victorious,” the socialist president said in a bellicose televised address. “Everything points to the Venezuelan ultra-right in alliance with the Colombian ultra-right, and that the name of [Colombian president] Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack.”

Maduro suggested an initial investigation showed Colombia and the US state of Florida, where many Venezuelan exiles live, were linked to the explosions.

Speaking from the presidential palace two hours after the attack, he announced that those behind the attempt on his life had been captured.

The drones, armed with explosives, were flown towards Maduro as he addressed soldiers in the capital Caracas on Saturday afternoon

Maduro was evacuated from a stage on Saturday during a speech at an event event to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard here after what authorities concluded was an attempted “terrorist attack against the President”.

Two drones loaded with explosives went off near the podium from where the President was speaking, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez confirmed to the media.

Just few hours after the incident, Maduro appeared on national television saying that as he was mid-speech in the event when a device exploded right in front of him.

“A flying object exploded near me, a big explosion. Seconds later there was a second explosion,” he said, adding that he initially thought it was fireworks as part of the parade.

The President also said that authorities were able to obtain evidence of the attack and said the investigation was in an advanced stage.

It was “an attempt to kill me, they have tried to assassinate me today”, he added.

“The preliminary investigation indicates that many of those responsible for the attack, the financiers and planners, live in the US in the state of Florida,” Maduro said.

“I hope the (President Donald) Trump administration is willing to fight terrorist groups that commit attacks in peaceful countries in our continent, in this case Venezuela.”

The Colombian government however, has denied any involvement, saying there is “no basis” to Maduro’s allegations.

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