CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro accused former Colombian leader Álvaro Uribe of planning to hire mercenaries to assassinate him.
The alleged assassination attempt, according to Maduro, was reported to have occurred in August last year during a military parade in Caracas. At the time, the Venezuelan head of state emerged unscathed from a drone attack that left seven agents of his personal guard injured. Following this episode, Maduro accused several authorities and politicians, from Venezuela and Colombia, of planning the attack, under orders from the United States.
“I learned of a plan coordinated by Álvaro Uribe Velez involving Colombia’s ambassador to the United States, Francisco Santo, to send 32 mercenaries to Venezuela to try to kill me,” Maduro said during a speech on Wednesday night.
Despite Maduro’s allegations, both Bogota and Washington deny any involvement in the frustrated attack on Maduro in 2018.
Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Trujillo traveled to the United States last year to discuss the political and social situation in Venezuela that led to high immigration, shortly after Senator and former President Alvaro Uribe called for “legal intervention” in the Caribbean country.
Uribe, leader of the Democratic Center, to which Trujillo and Duque belong, made the remarks just before the foreign minister’s visit to the United States began.
In an interview with local Caracol radio, Duke said a US-led military intervention “is not the way” to resolve the situation in Venezuela.
However, Uribe justified the intervention because – he argued – Venezuelan immigration exceeds all capabilities of the country and recalled that Duque leads the establishment of an international fund to address this crisis.
Uribe compared the Venezuelan crisis in Colombia with Europe and warned of the risks it entails.
On the subject, Uribe noted that Chile received about 450,000 Venezuelans, “mainly by land, crossing the entire territory of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.”