[News] Venezuela’s President Maduro Survives Assassination Attack On Live TV

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Aug 6 10:51:24 EDT 2018


  Venezuela’s President Maduro Survives Assassination Attack On Live TV

Six arrests have already been made in the dramatic foiled terrorist attack.

Merida, August 5, 2018 (_venezuelanalysis.com_ 
<http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/>) – Venezuelan President Nicolas 
Maduro has survived an attempt against his life whilst speaking on live 
TV during a military celebration in Caracas.

The attack occurred during the 81st-anniversary parade of the National 
Guard in Bolivar Avenue in the centre of Caracas on Saturday.

    What happened?

Towards the end of the parade, various industrial _DJIM600 drones_ 
– costing US $5000 each and more commonly used to carry cinematic 
cameras – loaded with C4 explosives were shot down by snipers at 5.41pm, 
causing two explosions just metres away from the president, his wife, 
and the minister of defence. Maduro was addressing the nation on live 
television broadcast at the time.

Following the explosions, panicked crowds ran from the parade as the 
presidential bodyguards covered Maduro and his entourage before rushing 
them away from the scene.

Neither the president nor his entourage were injured in the attack, but 
it has been reported that seven members of the National Guard received 
emergency medical care for injuries, with three remaining in a serious 
condition. No fatalities have been reported.

A short time later, the vice-president for communication, Jorge 
Rodriguez, addressed the nation to confirm the detail of the incident 
and the health of the president. He was followed by a live statement 
from President Maduro a short time later.

“They have tried to kill me today, and everything points towards the 
right wing forces, the Venezuela ultra-right in alliance with the 
Colombian ultra-right, and the name of [out-going Colombia President] 
Juan Manuel Santos is behind this assassination attempt… the first 
elements of the investigation point towards Bogota,” he stated. He also 
suggested the attempt had been financed from Miami, U.S.A.

Santos has recently made public statements suggesting that the mandate 
of Maduro is close to coming to an end. Following Maduro’s accusations, 
the Colombian foreign office issued a statement describing the 
Venezuelan president’s finger-pointing as “absurd” and “baseless.”

US authorities were also quick to _distance themselves_ 
from the attack, with White House security advisor John Bolton saying 
“Without a doubt there wasn't any participation from the US government 
in the absolute.”

On Sunday, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol confirmed that following the 
search of a number of Caracas hotels, six citizens accused of being the 
“material and intellectual authors” of the terrorist attack have been 
arrested “within Venezuelan and abroad.” Two of those have a criminal 
record or were being sought by authorities for their roles in the 2014 
anti-government street violence, he elaborated. Significant evidence was 
confiscated, and more arrests are expected.

Grassroots organisations – both Venezuelan and in other parts of the 
world – as well as_allied governments_ 
were quick to express their solidarity with Maduro following the foiled 
attack. The Venezuelan armed forces also issued a statement _confirm 
their “absolute loyalty” to the president shortly after.

Opposition groups have played down the attack, with some even claiming 
that it was staged by the government.

      Who is behind this assassination attempt?

An anti-government grouping calling itself ‘Soldiers in T-Shirts’ has 
claimed responsibility for the attack, called Operation Fenix, through 
their_Twitter account_ <https://twitter.com/soldadodfranela?lang=es> and 
a_statement_ <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxQkJuOB4PQ> which was 
read at 8.30pm by Miami-based private news network Factors of Power.

“The operation was to fly two drones carrying C4 explosive to the 
presidential platform, presidential guard snipers shot them down before 
they arrived at their objective. We showed that they [the government] 
are vulnerable, today we didn’t achieve it but it’s only a question of 
time,” reads one tweet.

    La operación era sobrevolar 2 drones cargados con C4 el objetivo el
    palco presidencial, francotiradores de la guardia de honor
    derribaron los drones antes de llegar al objetivo.
    Demostramos que son vulnerables, no se logró hoy pero es cuestión de
    tiempo. #MilitaresPatriotas
    pic.twitter.com/teIEwygN3S <https://t.co/teIEwygN3S>

    — Soldados de Franelas (@soldadoDfranela) August 4, 2018

It is unknown who is behind the organisation, which seems to have been 
formed in March 2014 during the period of violent anti-government street 
violence in Venezuela. At the time of writing, their _website _ 
<http://soldadosdefranela.com/>was down.

According to their Twitter account, the group is a combination of 
“military and civilian patriots loyal to the people of Venezuela” and 
“rebels for the cause of liberty.” They also claim to be “Bolivarian,” 
however no evidence of their roots in either the armed forces or the 
wider population is provided. It is equally unknown if they are based in 
Venezuela or abroad.

The public statement was read by Miami-based journalist Patricia Poleo, 
herself an outspoken critic of the government of Maduro who has 
been_formally accused_ <https://www.aporrea.org/actualidad/n87933.html> 
of being involved in the 2004 assassination of anti-corruption police 
investigator Danilo Anderson.

The statement claims that the assassination attempt looked to “restore 
the constitutional order,” which, according to them, has been broken by 
the current government.

Whilst not expressing affinity to any political grouping, the statement 
echoed many claims made by right-wing politicians, such as the supposed 
efforts of the government to sew “communism” in Venezuelan schools. The 
group also called for respect for the opposition-led National Assembly 
and for “true and free” elections, echoing ultra-rightist criticisms of 
the recent May 20 presidential elections.

Finally, they repeat language used during the 2014 and 2017 street 
violence by calling for “everyone to take to the streets” in order to 
“take power,” and for the installation of a “transition government.”

Amid national uncertainty, the country remains in a state of calm on 
Sunday, with only some very small and isolated responses to the call to 
the streets by the anti-government grouping.

Previous to the assassination attempt, the group tweeted threatening 
messages that “time will show us to be right and we will make them pay” 
in reference to the Venezuelan government.

At 6.06pm Saturday, only minutes after the attack, they retweeted their 
earlier Twitter message which claimed that “time has run out” for the 
democratically elected government of President Maduro.

    Dicen que el tiempo todo lo dice, todo lo cobra o todo lo paga, en
    este caso el tiempo nos dará la razón y pasará la factura más cara
    que la vida puede cobrarles a quienes tanto daño han hecho a este
    noble pueblo, no les alcanzará lo robado para pagar tanta miseria y
    pic.twitter.com/DxwK1O9tgU <https://t.co/DxwK1O9tgU>

    — Soldados de Franelas (@soldadoDfranela) August 4, 2018

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