On August 4, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro cut short a speech after an apparent “assassination attempt.” Soldiers could be seen scattering as the speech was cut off while those on stage with Maduro can be seen looking up to the sky. Maduro was accompanied by his wife, Cilia Flores, during the appearance. Venezuelan blogger Larissa Costas has tweeted that Maduro is “well.” The live television transmission was cut off without explanation. Speaking to the BBC, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez confirmed the president was unharmed. The Associated Press reports that firefighters at the scene of the attack are “disputing” the official version of events.
Reporter Roman Camacho tweeted, citing an unofficial source, that drone loaded with C4 detonated close to the presidential box. Camacho says that several members of the Venezuelan National Guard were injured during the incident. The speech was being delivered on Bolivar Avenue in Caracas. Larissa Costas later tweeted that seven soldiers were injured during the attack. ABC News reports that Maduro was attacked by “various drones.”
Reuters reports that the controversial president was giving a speech about Venezuela’s economy as well as celebrating the national guard’s 81st anniversary. The agency’s report says that “the camera panned to scores of soldiers who started running.” The CBS News report describes Venezuelan First Lady Cilia Flores being shown to “wince” on the video. The AP translated Maduro’s remarks before the explosion as, “To the conscious Venezuela, we are going to be for the good of our country, the hour of the economic recovery has come and we need…”
There have been multiple attempts and plots against President Maduro. In June 2018, Bloomberg reported on an elaborate plot to overthrow Maduro that resulted in arrests by the secret police. The plot was code-named Operation Constitution. The plan was allegedly hatched in Colombia and did not receive official support from U.S. officials in the region. In August 2015, Maduro openly said that Colombia was behind a plot to assassinate him. A year earlier, Reuters reported that Venezuela officials were falsely accused of being involved in a plot to kill Maduro.
This is a breaking story so stay tuned for updates.