Maduro Accused the USA and Guaido in Planning to Kill Him
President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday accused the United States of using frozen Venezuelan funds to bankroll mercenaries to assassinate him in a "plot" he said was directed by opposition leader Juan Guaido, France24 reported.
"We have dismantled a plan organized personally by the diabolical puppet to kill me," Maduro told thousands of supporters in Caracas, referring to Guaido, who have proclaimed himself as an interim president.
He alleged that Colombia, Venezuela's US-aligned neighbor, was also involved, and said that an unidentified Colombian paramilitary chief had been captured in the country "and is giving testimony."
Maduro's government gave details of the alleged plot on state television, with Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez saying "hitmen" from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras had been recruited "using big sums of money" and sent to Colombia ahead of missions into Venezuela to carry out "targeted assassinations" and "sabotage."
Rodriguez accused Guaido's chief of staff, Roberto Marrero, of receiving money from the United States and being a key organizer of the alleged operation.
Marrero, a 49-year-old lawyer, was arrested on Thursday in his Caracas home, triggering an outcry and demands he be immediately released by the US, the European Union and major Latin American countries that recognize Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.
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