Venezuela's Maduro: Drone attack was attempt to kill him

Venezuela's Maduro: Drone attack was attempt to kill him

FIn this May 24, 2018, photo, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro watches a military parade in Caracas, Venezuela.

A speech by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro commemorating the 81st anniversary of the Bolivian National Guard was unexpectedly cut short after he was interrupted on Saturday.

In the video below, shared on Twitter by Walla foreign affairs editor Guy Elster, Madura is seen on the podium speaking with the crowd about Venezuela's economy. Three local authorities said there had been a gas tank explosion inside an apartment near Maduro's speech where smoke could be seen streaming out of a window.

A senior US State Department official travelling with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Indonesia when asked about the reported attack on Maduro said, "We've heard the reports".

Maduro, 55, succeeded Hugo Chavez when the longtime Venezuelan socialist died of cancer in 2013.

Earlier, various reports by global media outlets had indicated that this was an assassination attempt on Maduro.

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Maduro named Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos as being behind the attack, but gave no evidence to back that up.

Rodriguez says that Maduro will make televised a speech soon.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have fled due to food and medicine shortages and hyperinflation that could reach one million percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. The drones were eliminated, the minister said.

David Smilde of the Washington Office on Latin America says the amateurish attack didn't appear to be staged by Maduro's government for political gain. One of the key reasons for the protests was the creation of the Constitutional Assembly, which aimed to short-circuit the National Assembly in which the opposition won a supermajority in 2015 elections.

Last year, a rogue Venezuelan police officer hijacked a helicopter and fired at government buildings in what he said was an action against a dictator.

Maduro, who escaped unhurt in the incident, said "everything points" to a right-wing plot against him and also claimed arrests have been made in the case.

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