Venezuela’s Maduro survives an assassination attempt
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has survived an assassination attempt with explosive carrying drones.
Referring to the Saturday night incident as an “attack”, Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said that top government officials alongside the president had also escaped unharmed.
He added that seven National Guard soldiers were wounded during the failed assassination attempt.
The incident took place while Maduro was giving a speech at a military event in Caracas. The televised broadcast was cut short and others on the podium suddenly looked upwards, startled.
Venezuelan government officials later slammed what they said were “terrorist” attacks.
Colombia behind drone ‘attack’: Maduro
Maduro accused Colombia of being behind the “attack” that targeted him on Saturday.
A “flying object exploded in front of me” he said.
“It was an attack to kill me, they tried to assassinate me today,” Maduro said during a state broadcast. “I have no doubt that the name (Colombian President) Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack.”
Maduro added that investigations “indicate that various of those financing it live in the United States, in the state of Florida. I hope that President Donald Trump is ready to fight these terrorist groups.”
Last year, a rogue police officer Oscar Perez stole a helicopter and fired at government buildings in what he said was an action against the government.
Perez was later found and killed by Venezuelan forces.
Venezuela suffers from an acute economic crisis, with people struggling to meet their basic needs, including of food and medical care.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has drastically upped its inflation prediction for Venezuela, forecasting a whopping one million percent inflation in the Latin American country by year end amid falling oil production.
Some experts attribute the hyperinflation in Venezuela to a recent move by the country’s president to raise the minimum national wage by 40 percent with immediate effect.
Last year, Venezuela plunged into political unrest amid opposition protests, which left at least 125 dead from both the government and opposition camps.
Washington and a number of its allies have sided with the Venezuelan opposition, which blames the government for the country’s economic problems.