Venezuela’s Nicholas Maduro reportedly target of drone attack
Maduro promptly blames Colombia and ‘financiers’ in the US.
Reports from officials in Venezuela indicate that several drones loaded with explosives were detonated close to President Nicolas Maduro while he was speaking at an event.
But firefighters at the scene of the blast disputed the Government’s version of events.
State television showed Mr Maduro abruptly cutting short a speech on Saturday (local time) causing hundreds of soldiers present to scatter.
Seven people were injured in the apparent attack that came as Mr Maduro celebrated the National Guard’s 81st anniversary, Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said.
“At exactly 5:41pm in the afternoon several explosions were heard,” Mr Rodriguez said in a live address to the nation minutes after the incident.
However, three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press — because they were not authorised to discuss the case — said the incident was actually a gas tank explosion inside an apartment.
Smoke could be seen coming out of a building window at the site of the incident.
It is currently being reported that several Venezuelan national guards were injured as the result of the explosion. Accusations are flying in the wake of the incident.
Maduro’s wife, Cilia Flores, was standing next to him at the time, and can be seen ducking away from the source of the loud explosions. Images showed bloodied soldiers being carried away and smoking holes in nearby buildings.
Maduro accused neighboring Colombia and unidentified ‘financiers’ in the United States of being responsible for the attack, while some of his officials blamed Venezuela’s opposition.
…Colombia denied any involvement. A senior Colombian official speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity said Maduro’s accusation was ‘baseless.’
Another angle of the failed "drone bomb attack" on Nicolás Maduro this evening shows soft armour looking shields being hurriedly brought in front of Maduro for protection. pic.twitter.com/5ICfU5LYKR
— Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) August 5, 2018
Venezuelan officials also note that Maduro may not have been the only target.
Attorney General Tarek William Saab said the attempted assassination targeted not only Maduro, but rather the military’s entire high command on stage with the president.
Prosecutors have already launched their investigation and obtained critical details from the suspects in custody, said Saab, adding that he would give more details Monday.
“We are in the midst of a wave of civil war in Venezuela,” Saab said.
The chaos is understandable, as a one-million-percent inflation rate coupled with dictatorial socialism tends to breed civil unrest.
UPDATE: Smoke seen rising above the area where the explosion reportedly carried out with a drone in what seems to be an assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (Pic credit @manuelberbin ) he was reportedly taken to safety unharmed. pic.twitter.com/RoembhHLk1
— News_Executive (@News_Executive) August 4, 2018
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“Never let a serious crisis be wasted.” Or a not so serious incident either.
“Maduro promptly blames Colombia and ‘financiers’ in the US.”
Looks like the ‘old days’ are back. Better luck next time.
ANd we know there really was an “attack” how???
my first thought – this was so inept that it’s hard to believe that it wasn’t just a show set up by Maduro’s people to justify a new round up of political opponents. Why did they blow up early, as reported? I don’t believe the claim that they were “shot down”, nobody was looking in the sky and firing. And the easiest way to hit a target with an explosive charge would be to maneuver to a point about 100′ directly overhead and simply turn off the motor. But that wasn’t even attempted.
Still, on the off-chance that this was some sadly incompetent anti-Maduro person, it marks the first time to my knowledge that a commonly available drone has been used to stage a public attack. It certainly won’t be the last.
Drone vs. Gas line explosion?
A military drone wouldn’t have shot down by a rifleman, that idea is so preposterous it doesn’t bear discussing. A civilian drone is slow enuf it COULD be possible, but it appears to be a sizable explosion. Civilian drones have no – or limited – payloads. Even on-target, casualties would be limited. Off-target like they are claiming? Ludicrous, and I’m not talking about music.
Either this was an accident, a Venezuelan gov’t hoax, or a traditional low-tech IED and not anything requiring external gov’t participation.
Civilian drones have no or limited payload? A quick check on amazon shows a model capable of lifting 3.5 lbs for $2800 up to one that can lift 22 lbs for $12000.
Well, from the video, it appears that there was one explosion, powerful enough to sock cameras recording Maduro’s speech. It appears that it was pretty far removed from the stage and even most of the formations. From the reports, we really have no solid corroboration that it was an explosive laden drone or a cooking gas explosion, or an explosion from another source, inside one of the buildings overlooking the formation. So, this is still mostly speculation at this point. However, it is unlikely that any IED bearing drone exploded over the formation. Such a device is usually packed with ball bearings and would have inflicted a significantly greater number of casualties than were reported. Also, pictures, posted to twitter following the blast, show evidence of a fire which was inside an apartment on what appears to be the second or third floor of an apartment building. One thing wee can tell, from the videos, is that the level of discipline in the Venezuelan national Guard is not very impressive.
They say a gas tank in an apartment, evan a 20 lb. LP tank represents a huge explosive force.
I guess “hoarders” and “wreckers” didn’t make as much sense in context.
It is only a matter of time before all 20lb propane cylinders are serial numbered and registered as destructive devices. Fully dispersed within a structure represents a huge explosive potential since the over-pressure is very uniform.
Paranoid much? The crowd around you didn’t look a bit scared. Only you. Was this a staged incident? I think so.
Textbook dictator move, stage a botched assassination attempt to give you the excuse to round up anyone inconvenient to your rule and put them in a hole.