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.
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