An assassination attempt on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was planned in Colombia by Venezuelan oppostition figures who were in touch with US authorities, CNN reported Friday.
The reports add credibility to Maduro’s longtime claim that Colombia is being used as a base for attacks against Venezuela. Both Colombian and US authorities have long denied the claims were false, but appear to have been lying to the public.
CNN interviewed the perpetrators of the assassination attempt that took place on August 11 last year.
The self-proclaimed masterminds behind the attack said they had been planning the attack from an undisclosed ranch in Colombia where the men armed the drones bought in the US with explosives.
Having successfully carried out the preparations in Colombia, the drones were deconstructed and smuggled in parts into Venezuela to carry out the assassination attempt on Maduro, whose legitimacy s president is disputed by more than 50 countries, particularly Colombia and the US who have refused to rule out the use of violence.
We have tried by all peaceful and democratic means to put an end to this tyranny that disguises itself as democracy… We have friends imprisoned, tortured. This was a difficult decision.
Anonymous self-proclaimed mastermind of the assassination attempt
The attack was carried out by deserted members of the military, according to the self-proclaimed plotter. Some 700 members of the military, primarily low-ranking officials have allegedly jumped the border to Colombia.
The two drones were strapped with explosives and flown at Maduro during a public appearance in the capital Caracas. The drones to detonated prematurely, according to Venezuelan authorities because they were able to sabotage the operation.
Seven national guards were injured but the drones were not able to approach either Maduro or kill any of the thousands present at the military event to kill anyone.
Some of these military deserters have said they were willing to use violence to depose the leftist Maduro whose country has descended in humanitarian crisis due to gross mismanagement and far-reaching US sanctions.
The assassination attack on Maduro was the first in which commercial drones have been used to in an assassination attempt on a head of state.
Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido, who initially blamed Maduro for investing the attack to boost his popularity, responded that he rejected the attack.
John Bolton, the national security adviser of US President Donald Trump, accused Maduro of staging the incident to foster sympathy. Bolton has been called out for lying to the public in order to justify a regime change on multiple occasions.
The revelations validate Maduro’s claims that far-right opposition leaders from his country use Colombia and teamed up with US government officials in a ploy to assassinate him. Both countries have rejected this hypothesis, but are now contradicted by evidence.
The organizer of the attack told CNN that the Colombian government was not directly involved in the ploy carrying out with Venezuelan deserters, who receive support from the Colombian and US governments. The alleged masterminds claimed they met with US officials on three occasions after the attack, but that the Americans provided no assistance.
The US has a history of meddling in internal affair in Latin America, which has long fueled anti-American sentiments in the hemisphere.
Maduro has frequently accused both the US and Colombia of being complicit in attempts to assassinate him.