Alledged coup plot in Venezuela thwarted

World Today

Handout photo released by the Venezuelan Presidency of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro waving to supporters during a TV program in Caracas on February 12, 2015. Venezuelan police fired tear gas Thursday to break up students demonstrating against President Nicolas Maduro’s government, on the anniversary of protests that eventually left 43 people dead last year. AFP PHOTO/PRESIDENCIA

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday that his administration had foiled a coup attempt that he alleged had the backing of the U.S. and local opposition members.

In televised remarks, Maduro said five air force officers, including a general, were detained for plotting to use a military plane to bomb the presidential palace.

He provided no evidence or other details.

Maduro frequently denounces what he says are coup attempts without providing specifics, and last year arrested several members of the military who he said were plotting to overthrow him.

The opposition has rejected Maduro’s allegations, saying that he uses them to distract Venezuelans from the serious problems facing the country.

Earlier in the day, both friends and foes of Venezuela’s socialist government braved pouring rain to stage competing marches all over Venezuela.

Report complied with information from The Associated Press