‘This was an attempt to kill me’ – Maduro after ‘assassination attempt’ (video)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro spoke at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Saturday, after surviving an apparent assassination attempt just hours earlier, while giving a speech at a military event in the capital.
Seven National Guard soldiers were injured after explosions interrupted Maduro during a speech to mark the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard of Venezuela.
Maduro and other government members were unharmed in the attack.
The explosions were reportedly from explosives-laden drones.
SOT, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuelan President (Spanish):
“I was saying ‘Let’s not let our guard down, the conspiracy has returned.’ At that very moment exploding directly in front of me, a flying device. A big explosion, companeros. My first reaction was of observation, of serenity, because I have full confidence in the people and the armed forces. Full, of their loyalty, and God protects me. Yes, God protects me, but on Earth, the people and the Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic do. That is why I am standing alive and victorious. Ready to continue the battle and combat always.”
“There was a second explosion behind some stands where there were families and officials on my right side. Which is what you see in the images of people running because they feel the explosive, the explosive blow and the rest of the people there also protecting themselves, running and walking, protecting themselves from the explosion which you can hear.”
“Without a doubt we have revealed the situation in record time. This was an attempt to kill me. Today they attempted to assassinate me and I have no doubt that everything points to the Right [Venezuelan opposition], the Venezuelan Far-Right in alliance with the Colombian Far-Right and that the name of [Colombian President] Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attempt. I have no doubt.”
Venezuela president Maduro unharmed after drone attack
Drones loaded with explosives detonated close to a military event where Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro was giving a speech on Saturday, but he and the rest of the government escaped unharmed in what information minister Jorge Rodriguez said was an “attack” against the leftist leader. Seven national guard soldiers were injured, Rodriguez added.
A broadcast by Maduro was cut short during an outdoor speech at a military event in Caracas and soldiers were seen running before the televised transmission was cut off.
While Maduro was speaking about Venezuela’s economy, the audio suddenly went and he and others on the podium looked up, startled. The camera then panned to scores of soldiers who started running, before the transmission was cut.
Venezuela is living under the fifth year of a severe economic crisis that has sparked malnutrition, hyperinflation and mass emigration.
Opec member Venezuela’s once-thriving socialist economy has collapsed since the 2014 fall of oil prices.
Last year, rogue police officer Oscar Perez hijacked a helicopter and fired at government buildings in what he said was an action against a dictator. Perez was hunted down and killed by Venezuelan forces in January.
A national guard captain, Juan Carlos Caguaripano, early last year attacked a military base with a group of current and former military officials. He was captured soon after.