Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Survives Apparent Assassination Attempt
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maruro survived an apparent assassination attempt on Saturday, according to government officials. Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez called the incident an "attack" against the country's leader, but said Maduro had escaped unharmed.
Drones loaded with explosives were apparently detonated near a military event in Caracas where Maduro was speaking at a celebration honoring the 81st anniversary of the country's National Guard.
“At exactly 5:41 p.m. in the afternoon several explosions were heard,” said Rodriguez in a live address minutes after the incident. “The investigation clearly reveals they came from drone-like devices that carried explosives.”
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.
“We are going to bet for the good of our country,” Maduro declared. "The hour of the economy recovery has come."
The audio suddenly drops, and Maduro, his wife Cilia Flores, and other officials on the podium peer up at the sky. The camera then cuts to the scene on the street, where soldiers and others in the crowd are seen running away from what may have been an explosion.
Elster tweeted, "Unconfirmed reports say it was an assassination attempt of Maduro by a drone, unclear if there is any casualties in this incident."
The picture below appears to show a fire where a drone crashed into a building:
Seven members of the Venezuelan National Guard were reportedly injured in the attack.
More video footage of the chaos in Caracas here:
According to a report at the Washington Post, firefighters on the scene are disputing the government's version of events.
Maduro has been under increasing pressure from Venezuelans who have suffered under his socialist regime's tanking economy.
On Monday, he surprised the world by admitting that his economic program has been a failure.