Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused former US President Donald Trump of orchestrating a plot to assassinate him in 2018. Maduro claims that the order for the assassination came directly from the White House. He made these allegations during a speech to mark the 86th anniversary of Venezuela’s National Guard, which coincided with the anniversary of the failed assassination attempt.
Maduro further alleged that both the US and Colombia were involved in the attack. He claimed that Trump personally ordered the Colombian president to prepare the attack, which was carried out by a terrorist group operating in Venezuela’s neighboring state. Maduro also accused the then-president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, of being the direct operator of the plot and financing and planning the assassination just days before his term ended.
However, both Washington and Bogota have denied any involvement in the attack. Then-US national security advisor John Bolton even suggested in 2018 that the plot was a pretext set up by the Venezuelan regime itself.
On August 4, 2018, an assassination attempt took place while Maduro was delivering a speech to the National Guard in Caracas. Two drones equipped with explosives detonated over the area, but there were no casualties and Maduro himself was unharmed. Footage of the incident captured the explosions, as well as Maduro’s bodyguards leaping to protect him and then swiftly evacuating him from the scene.
Following the attack, an investigation was conducted, which led to the conviction of 17 suspects. Last year, after 91 separate hearings, twelve of them were sentenced to 30 years in prison for crimes including attempted murder and treason. The remaining five suspects received prison terms ranging from five to 20 years for conspiracy and terrorism.
Maduro’s accusations against Trump and the US government have not been substantiated, and they continue to deny any involvement in the assassination attempt. The Venezuelan leader’s claims highlight the ongoing tensions between the two countries and the contentious nature of their relationship.
The allegations of foreign interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs add to the complex political dynamics in the country. Venezuela has been grappling with a severe economic and humanitarian crisis, as well as political instability. The relations between the US and Venezuela have been strained for years, and the allegations of an assassination plot further exacerbate these tensions.
The incident underscores the challenges faced by Maduro’s leadership, both domestically and internationally. His government has been accused of authoritarianism and human rights abuses, leading to international condemnation and sanctions. The allegations of an assassination plot serve as a reminder of the volatile and precarious political situation in Venezuela.