URGENTE: El desfile de Maduro se suspendió inesperadamente. Todos salieron corriendo.
By Ana Vanessa Herrero and Nicholas Casey
CARACAS, Venezuela — A drone attack caused pandemonium at a military ceremony where President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela was speaking on Saturday, sending National Guard troops scurrying in what administration officials called an assassination attempt.
The president, who was unharmed, later told the nation, “To all of our friends in the world, I am fine, I am alive.” He blamed right-wing elements and said, “The Bolivarian revolution keeps its path.”
Mr. Maduro has presided over a spectacular economic collapse in Venezuela, where inflation is expected to reach one million percent this year despite the country’s large oil reserves. Economists blame decades of mismanagement under Mr. Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez.
The drone attack was the latest in a string of attempts in recent years to end the tenure of Mr. Maduro, who was declared the victor of an election in May that carries his term until 2025. No previous assaults have been as bold, though, and this appeared to have been the first assassination attempt on a head of state using drones.
It was an attack that seemed scripted for Hollywood: Off-camera explosions. Low-flying drones exploding midair. The president and first lady ducking for cover. Thousands of soldiers in a military parade suddenly fleeing in a stampede that was broadcast to the country, live.
Jorge Rodríguez, the communications minister, said the attackers had used “several flying devices” that were detonated near where the president was standing.
The attack came shortly after 5:30 p.m. during an event the government said was meant to celebrate the 81st anniversary of the country’s National Guard.
During the president’s speech, which was broadcast live on state television, the camera began to shake. Mr. Maduro then looked into the air as his wife, Cilia Flores, flinched and reached for another official to brace herself.
The video feed was interrupted, but Mr. Maduro could be heard continuing to talk as voices in the background yelled for people to flee.
The video feed then showed figures dressed in black breaking through a barrier from the sidelines of a wide street where hundreds of uniformed guardsmen were arrayed in formation. The figures in black ran toward the guardsmen, who abruptly fled in panic.
The transmission then cut off.
Mr. Maduro, addressing the nation just before 9 p.m., blamed right-wing elements in Venezuela and Colombia for the attack, and said that President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia was also responsible.
“All the investigations point to Bogotá,” he said, accompanied by his ministers and military high command. “They have tried to kill me today.” Mr. Maduro also suggested involvement by unidentified Americans, and said some arrests had been made of those responsible.
On Saturday, the Colombian government dismissed the claims. A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said its Caracas embassy had issued a security alert, but did not respond to Mr. Maduro’s allegation of a plot, which he has made repeatedly in the past.
Carlos Julio Rojas, an activist in Caracas, said that he had just arrived to protest water shortages when he felt the first explosion.
“We thought it was a bolt of lightning, but with the second explosion we could see the wall vibrating,” he said. “We saw the soldiers running.”
Mr. Rojas said neighbors told him they had seen drones approach and explode midair.
Figures aligned with the opposition condemned the attack.
“This is not the way out of the Venezuelan crisis,” said Nicmer Evans, a political scientist who has campaigned with the opposition. “No one wants the exit to be the death of someone to resolve this country’s situation.”
It was not the first time that the government, which has presided over years of food shortages and rules with an authoritarian fist, has suffered a spectacular attack in its capital.
In June 2017, Óscar Pérez, a rogue police officer, commandeered a helicopter and used it in a brazen midday assault to drop grenades on the Supreme Court building and to fire on the Interior Ministry.
Mr. Pérez took to Instagram to call for others to join his cause and wage attacks against military bases, but he was killed by the government during an assault in January.
In another attack last year, a group of soldiers struck a military barrackswest of Caracas. Like Mr. Pérez, they released videos calling for others to join their cause, but no rebellion materialized.
And in 2016, Mr. Maduro himself was attacked by a mob who chased him down the street banging pots and pans and screaming that they had no food.
Despite widespread discontent, Mr. Maduro continues to hold power. His most popular rivals were banned from running in elections this spring, and opposition parties boycotted and said the vote was rigged.
Analysts said Saturday that while the attack might be used to drum up support for the president, it was a deep embarrassment for Mr. Maduro.
“It will boost his rhetoric and give some substance to his conspiracy theories,” said David Smilde, an analyst at the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights group. “But the optics of this weaken him. The images of him being interrupted in mid-speech and the armed forces running away make him look vulnerable.”
Mr. Smilde dismissed theories on Saturday that the government had organized a failed attack to build support for Mr. Maduro. He said the attack appeared “amateurish.”
Leaders friendly to Mr. Maduro offered their support and cast suspicion on foreign powers.
“We energetically repudiate this new aggression and cowardly attack,” said Evo Morales, Bolivia’s president and a fellow leftist. “After failed attempts to topple him democratically, economically, politically and militarily, now the empire and its servants try to take his life.”
That wasn’t the reaction of some residents who stood nearby as officials fled.
“Running like rats,” said a woman who filmed a video of the soldiers and officials fleeing on Saturday. “All of those fancy cars of the plugged-in elites trying to get away at the same time.”
Related on the ConTrail
speaking to a very unnerved kiwi activist
How come the really bad guys never get assassinated? In the past this question would not have the same relevance, but since the New World Order engulfed the planet, individual crowned heads have been relegated to ceremonial functions. For Americans the triple play of JFK, MLK and RFK, 1963 -1968 years proved to be a watershed. A compelling argument that the NWO put into motion the final stage of their master plan, after these shootings, add additional credence.
The official fairy tale that Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray and Sirhan Sirhan acted alone has been so completely disproven that only a “low information” kool aide drinker or a hard core establishment flag flyer buys the psyops. Without re-litigating the legal record, the most sensible arguments question if any of these three pigeons were the actual shooters.
Much like the anti-intellectual culture that flows from academia, public agencies and the corporatist media, which states that Global Warming is settled science; the mere discussion of the facts and evidence in these assassinations is decried, as being advanced by dastardly conspiracy whack cases.
Never in the history of this sad planet have so many bitched about so much. And it all amounts to nothing. It isn't changing a damned thing. I have yet to hear "Storm the Castle". "Lynch the bastards!"
From one of the best bloggers on the planet, bar none... Timster at: http://timster-howdarei.blogspot.com/... and one hell of a director... Alex Roman.
Sounds like Snordster, haven't heard from him in a while.
That link says the blog has been removed ?
Did the US try to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro?
John Bolton, Trump’s veteran neocon national security adviser, told Fox News the US had nothing to do with the explosive drone attack during an appearance in Caracas that injured several people but left Maduro and his entourage untouched.
“I can say unequivocally there was no U.S. government involvement in this at all. If the government of Venezuela has hard information that they want to present to us that would show a potential violation of U.S. criminal law, we’ll take a serious look at it, but in the meantime I think what we really should focus on is the corruption and oppression in the Maduro regime in Venezuela,” said Bolton during an interview with Chris Wallace.
Only if you suffer from amnesia or lived under a rock for the last fifteen years would you believe this verified liar and terrorism conspirator. I’m not sure how many Americans believe Bolton’s denial, but considering the citizenry’s regrettable history of being taken in by lies and gross fabrications it is fair to say millions will believe their government wouldn’t do such a thing—never mind the obvious (if you bother to notice) Pilate stones strewn about in plain sight that tell a quite different story.
John Bolton can make such denials because the American people are ill-informed and many are quite frankly political retards. It’s more than intellectual laziness. Most Americans have been trained in government schools to accept unquestioningly a largely fictional history of the United States, especially in regard to foreign policy. Millions more wouldn’t be able to find Venezuela on a map.
As I write this news came of the attempt on President Maduro’s life, additional “sanctions” against Iran, North Korea, Syria and Russia, a ramping up of the economic warfare against China through the use of trade tariffs, threats of war against all of those nations and dangerous alarms from within the USA that the upcoming midterm elections for Congress are being threatened by Russia.
The western media have spun the failed attempt on Maduro as a staged event so he can “clampdown on democracy” and so act as co-conspirators in the plot. If the attempt had succeeded they would have been jubilant that it worked but they are so corrupt we could not put it past them to claim that his murder would be justified. But what strikes me about all these circumstances is the connection between the domestic situation in the USA and its external aggression.
The defeat of the US and its NATO and Middle Eastern allies in Syria dealt them a major strategic blow. They had hoped to be able to take over the land and air space of Syria and ISIS controlled Iraq to build up forces so they could attack Iran. Now that is only possible by air attack and they know as we all know that despite the destruction they can wreak air bombardment alone does not win wars. So the US reneged on the Iran nuclear deal in order to have its pretext to impose crippling economic warfare on Iran, which has had the effect of devaluing its currency and making life difficult. Already some unrest has been provoked because of this and the actions of western agents in Iran. The Americans hope to cause enough unrest to bring down the Iranian government and impose their own puppets or direct western colonial rule but they do not understand either the will to resist nor the Persian culture and people. Nor did they expect to be frustrated by Iran’s friends who refuse to obey US diktats to reduce Iranian oil sales to zero. India, China, Russia, Turkey and some EU countries that need it will continue to by Iranian oil.
The Syria defeat, along with their defeat in Iraq and their inability to fully control Afghanistan has enraged the US ruling elite who want revenge and of course the big targets, all allies of Syria are Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. So “sanctions” orders are being issued in a steady stream. Just last week sanctions were slapped on a NATO ally Turkey because it refused to hand over one of their evangelical ministers, a Mr. Brunson, who claimed to be in Turkey for years proselytising for his dominionist church and yet after many years of being there only had 24 members in his flock. Not much of a success and certainly not enough to give him an income and so one has to ask where he gets his money from and why he would stay there with such dismal results unless of course he is exactly what Turkey claims he is, a US agent acting against the interests of Turkey. The very loud hue and cry in the US against Erdogan for refusing to release Brunson and threats from Vice president Pence that “Erdogan will pay for this” all indicate that Mr. Brunson is more than just a small time preacher. Countries do not impose sanctions on allies to save private citizens from being prosecuted for crimes in foreign countries. Turkey, which only recently lifted its emergency laws after the failed US backed coup in 2016 has defiantly responded by imposing some counter sanctions which infuriates the Americans even more, seemingly at a loss as to why nations around the world are no longer obeying them.
Hi George - just a heads up, be careful when using https://21stcenturywire.com as a source
Check and double check that lot. I have been caught a couple of times.
The only fault I found with this article is their BS paragraph on the climate,appearing to give credence to "global warming".I generally read the articles before submission but have noted your "heads up".