VENEZUELA: President Survives Assassination Attempt, Blames Colombia And US Expats In Florida

Nicolas Maduro

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The other had a warrant out for his arrest for participating in an attack on a military barracks, the interior minister said.

Security officers were able to disable one of the drones flying toward the stage where Maduro was standing with high-ranking officials, Reverol said. One crashed into a nearby building, he said, while the other was detonated prematurely after being "disoriented by signal-inhibiting equipment". "The investigation clearly reveals [the explosions] came from drone-like devices that carried explosives".

Maduro has blamed the outgoing Colombian president for the attack.

He said the Venezuelan political far right in collaboration with the Colombian far right and Colombian President Santos were behind the attack.

Colombia also rejected Maduro's "absurd" accusation of involvement.

Declaring his support for Mr Maduoro, Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said: "We are determined, determined to defend our homeland, our constitution, our democracy, our institutions".

A senior State Department official declined to comment on the incident beyond saying the department was following reports from Caracas.

Both Cuban leaders expressed their "full solidarity and unconditional support for President Maduro", it said.

One expert on the country, David Smilde, told the AP that he didn't think the attack was staged, but that the footage of the incident probably embarrassed Maduro and made him look weak.

Late Saturday, a rebel group calling itself the National Movement of Soldiers in T-Shirts claimed responsibility in a statement passed to US-based opposition journalist Patricia Poleo, who read it on her YouTube channel.

Venezuelan National Guard soldiers seen during an event which was interrupted, in this still frame taken from video August 4, 2018, Caracas, Venezuela.

Maduro's wife recoiled, the camera shook, the state TV broadcast's audio was cut, and the camera abruptly panned out to hundreds of soldiers in sharp formation.

Six "terrorists and hired killers" have been arrested in Venezuela accused of trying to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro in an alleged drone attack, the government said on Sunday. "We demand respect for President Juan Manuel Santos, for the Government and for the Colombian people".

Seven journalists covering the story were stopped by security forces and interrogated for hours, according to Venezuela's National Union of Media Workers. A video posted to Twitter shows a drone exploding in mid-air. The likely move that Venezuela will do is banning drones in the country. The South American nation is in the midst of a political and economic crisis.

Amid deadly, near-daily protests previous year, a rogue police officer flew a stolen helicopter over the capital and launched grenades at several government buildings.

Bolivian President Evo Morales is even blaming the United States.

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