Venezuela announces defeat of US-funded coup attempt
Venezuela’s president has announced the defeat of a US-bankrolled coup attempt against the country, which was being plotted by five aviation officers.
Speaking in the capital Caracas on Thursday, Nicolas Maduro said, “We have broken up and foiled a coup attempt against democracy and the stability of our country.”
Upon potential realization, the coup, financed by the United States and directed “from Washington,” would have seen an aerial attack on the presidential palace or another target, he said.
“This was an attempt to use a group of military aviation officers to provoke a violent event,” added the Venezuelan chief executive.
Maduro further said one of those detained was “an aviation general called Hernandez, alias el Oso (the bear),” adding that he had plotted along with four other officers.
Caracas has repeatedly stated that the opposition seeks to launch a coup d’état in the South American country with the backing of Washington.
Maduro said last December that he had “recordings” which reveal the US was seeking to corrupt Venezuelan government officials.
Caracas and Washington remain at odds since late Hugo Chavez became president in 1999. Both sides have refused to exchange ambassadors since 2010. The countries have chargé d’affaires running their respective embassies.