President Maduro vows ‘maximum punishment’ after explosion involving drone

World Today

VENEZUELA-MILITARYScreengrab taken from a handout video released by Venezuelan Television (VTV) showing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (C), his wife Cilia Flores (L) and military authorities reacting to a loud band during a ceremony to celebrate the 81st anniversary of the National Guard in Caracas on August 4, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / VENEZUELAN TELEVISION (VTV))

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the explosion involving a drone was an assassination attempt but critics fear it is a government ploy to crack down on the opposition.

The military is also on ‘maximum alert’ a day after exploding drones caused chaos in Caracas. CGTN’s Juan Carlos Lamas reports.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was hurriedly ushered away from the scene of the apparent assassination attempt that was launched as he was giving a speech to Venezuela’s national guards in Caracas.

“Several detonations were heard and the investigations just confirmed they came from flying objects,” said Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez, “More specifically drones which were carried with some explosive materials that exploded next to the place where President Maduro was speaking.”

Maduro confirmed the arrest of several people believed to be involved in the plot hours after the attack. He also accused Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and dissidents living in the United States.

Colombian officials have rejected Maduro’s allegations as “absurd” and baseless. U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has also denied any government involvement and said Maduro needs to show evidence of involvement by dissidents within the United States.

Authorities in Venezuela are continuing their investigation and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol said more people, both in and out of Venezuela, have been identified for possible involvement and more arrests are expected.

Opposition fears government crackdown after drone explosion

CGTN’s Wang Guan spoke with Eduardo Gamarra, a professor in the Department of politics and international relations at the Florida International University, about the drone explosion that the Venezuela government has called an assassination attempt.