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Venezuela: 32 arrested in alleged plot to kill Maduro

January 23, 2024

President Nicolas Maduro's government has accused the political opposition of orchestrating an assassination conspiracy with US support.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has also authroized the demotion and expulsion of suspected military staff Image: Ariana Cubillo/AP Photo/picture alliance

Authorities in Venezuela have arrested 32 individuals, including soldiers and civilians, for their alleged role in a plot to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro, the prosecutor's office said Monday.

Maduro's close aid Attorney General Tarek William Saab also confirmed that 11 other people — including activists, journalists and soldiers — have also been issued arrest warrants for the alleged involvement in conspiracy plans that also targeted Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino.

All suspects have "confessed and revealed information about the plans," Saab told the media.

During his weekly telecast on Monday, Maduro also authorized Padrino to demote and expel suspect military personnel from the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB).

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 "The maximum sentence must be applied against them... for terrorism, conspiracy and treason," Maduro said. 

Maduro accuses US of working with opposition 

Maduro has blamed the opposition for working with the US to undermine his rule. 

The Maduro government accused the "far right," as it calls the opposition, of receiving "support" from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Authorities have also released a video it claims connects opposition leader Maria Corina Machado to the plot. Meanwhile, Saab has said that "more arrests will follow."

In a press conference, Padrino revealed that the monthslong probe into the conspiracies was kept a secret as the "talks" between Maduro and the United States that resulted in a prisoner swap were going on around the same time.

In 2018, Maduro was elected for a second time, which the US and several other countries rejected as a sham.  Maduro has pledged to hold "free and fair" elections in 2024. However, main opposition candidate, Maria Corina Machado, will be barred from running due to alleged crimes, including allegations of corruption, and supporting US sanctions.

mfi/wmr (EFE, AFP)