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Venezuela’s Maduro says 11 ‘hired assassins’ offered $50 million

Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, delivers a speech during a ceremony in which he received the credential as President-elect for the 2019-2025 period in Caracas, Venezuela, 22 May 2018. Maudro declares US Charge d'Affaires, Todd Robinson, persona non grata, and gave him 48 hours to leave the country. (Miguel Gutierrez/EFE/ ZUMA Press/TNS)

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said 11 “hired assassins” trained in Colombia were offered $50 million to kill him as part of Saturday’s thwarted attack.

The suspects were trained in a farm in Chinacota, Colombia, and were planning a July 5 attack that was postponed because of the delayed arrival of the two drones, Maduro said in a televised address from the presidential palace Wednesday. The suspects were keeping track of Maduro’s public appearances and were told they could stay in the U.S. following the attack, Maduro said.

“I saw death in the face and I said, ‘this is not your time yet, this is the time for life’,” Maduro said. “I’m sure these assassins will receive the harshest of punishments.”

An attack by two explosive drones during a military parade Saturday wounded military officers but failed to harm Maduro, who was flanked by his wife and the defense minister. Videotaped confessions were broadcast during Maduro’s address, where he also showcased bloodied military uniforms from Saturday’s attacks.

The police are still carrying out raids as part of the investigations, Maduro said. National Assembly President Julio Borges and opposition lawmaker Juan Requesens are suspected of participating in the attack’s planning, he said.

Justice First, Venezuela’s largest opposition party, said Requesens had been detained by intelligence police as Maduro spoke Wednesday night.


© 2018 Bloomberg News

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