Venezuela government says it thwarted 'coup' plot

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez speaks during a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister following their meeting in Moscow

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez speaks during a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister following their meeting in Moscow

Maduro's spokesman Jorge Rodriguez said on state television that a network of mostly retired police officers and soldiers planned to bomb a key government building, seize a Caracas airbase and loot Venezuela's central bank.

Government ministers claim that the US colluded with Colombia and Chile in a plot to assassinate Maduro and install an army general in his place.

Naming Donald Trump ally John Bolton as one of the conspirators, Caracas said at least six alleged plotters had been arrested.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday security forces had foiled an opposition coup attempt that included plans to assassinate him and other top political figures and install a jailed former military officer as president.

Official Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and US-recognized Venezuelan President Juan Guaido are both vying for control over PDVSA's refinery in the United States-Citgo-and a USA court is set to decide who will control it, according to Reuters. "We were in all the conferences", Rodriguez said, suggesting that government informers had infiltrated the alleged plotters during planning meetings. Guaido, leader of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, is seeking to remove Maduro from power with backing from more than 50 nations.

According to Rodriguez, surveillance of the plotters and Saavedra's recorded "confession" revealed that the plan envisaged the takeover of three military bases, including La Carlota air base in Caracas.

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Maduro came under attack last August by two drones loaded with explosives, which detonated near the president while he spoke at an outdoor military celebration.

Guaido, who in January invoked the constitution to assume a rival presidency, called on the armed forces in April to disavow Maduro in an uprising.

Citgo said that it was confident that the USA courts would recognize Guaido's claim to appoint directors, and Maduro is unrelenting in trying to usurp his authority.

Millions of people have fled Venezuela's spiralling economic and financial crisis.

However, in the wake of Rodriguez's accusations, he told reporters he had "frustrated" an attempt to kidnap several members of his entourage on a Caracas highway.

It deployed the military personnel in Venezuela in a highly-publicized show of support for Maduro.

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