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Maduro Says Opposition, US Tried To Assassinate Him

Venezuela’s President Maduro said the country’s security forces had prevented an attempt on his life planned by the opposition and supported by the United States, Colombia, and Chile, the BBC reports, adding that the plot envisaged replacing the incumbent president of the country with a former defense minister.

Juan Guaido, the leader of the Venezuelan opposition who declared himself interim president in January, denied the accusations, saying there had been so many such accusations, the media had “lost count” of them.

In a televised address to the nation, Maduro said "We would be ruthless in a revolutionary counteroffensive against a attempted fascist coup - ruthless!" as quoted by Al Jazeera following a statement by his spokesman that said the security forces had uncovered a network of police officers and soldiers—most of them retired—who planned to bomb an unnamed but important government building, seize control of an airbase, and “loot Venezuela’s central bank.”

Interestingly enough, the network, according to the statement, was not affiliated with opposition leader Juan Guaido. In fact, spokesman Jorge Rodriguez said, they had panned to oust Guaido from Venezuela’s political life as well.

This is a new twist in the Venezuelan saga, which has so far focused on the fight between Guaido’s opposition and the Maduro government. The U.S. was quick to recognize Guaido as the legitimate, though interim, leader of Venezuela and has helped his efforts to oust Maduro by giving the Venezuelan opposition control over PDVSA’s U.S. business, Citgo.

Guaido, for his part, has been sparing no effort to rally supporters to protest against Maduro but though large-scale, the protests have failed to enable a regime change. In April, Guaido announced that the military had switched allegiances and was backing his claim to the Venezuelan helm in what he called the “final phase” of his regime-change plan, but that turned out to be an exaggeration and Maduro remains in power.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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