Venezuela's Maduro: Chile, Colombia, Mexico aided assassins
Iran Press TV
Tue Sep 25, 2018 06:19AM
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused the governments of Chile, Colombia, and Mexico of having been involved in a reported assassination attempt against him in the capital, Caracas, last month.
"Today, I can say we have convincing elements of the participation of Chilean, Colombian, and Mexican diplomats in the protection of these people who undertook a terrorist act," Maduro said on Monday.
An assassination attempt was reportedly conducted against Maduro in early August. Two drones laden with explosives, exploded nearby as the Venezuelan president was speaking at an outdoor military parade in Caracas.
In his Monday remarks, Maduro showed a video of a young Venezuelan being arrested. He said the man, identified as Henryberth Rivas, had been involved in the attack.
Rivas said in televised footage broadcast on Monday night that he had been instructed by a fellow plotter after the attack to seek refuge at the Chilean Embassy in Caracas, from where he was told he would be smuggled to the Mexican Embassy, then to the Colombian Embassy, and finally over the border to Colombia.
Rivas said the Chilean Embassy was closed at the time and the plan fell through.
"I arrived at the Chilean Embassy and it was closed," he said in the video, explaining that he was then ordered to go to the house of the fellow plotter, himself reportedly linked to the Chilean Embassy.
Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said on the weekend that Caracas had concluded that the three countries had been involved in the attack.
"I'm asking myself if the ambassador of Chile is ready for a polygraph test," Rodriguez told a press conference on Monday. "Chile must explain who was that official who was supposed to help this criminal escape. Colombia and Mexico also have to explain who was supposed to facilitate the escape of [the suspect]."
Rodriguez explained that Rivas had been arrested the day after the attack.
"We are ready to present confessions made by the detainees to the foreign ministers of Colombia, Chile, and Mexico," the Venezuelan information minister further said, calling on the three countries to investigate any role of their diplomats in the reported assassination attempt.
Shortly after the Venezuelan government claims, all the three countries accused denied the allegations.
Chile's Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero denied what he called the "slanderous accusations," calling on Caracas "to act with responsibility and sanity and to withdraw its slanderous insinuations against our country."
The Chilean Foreign Ministry summoned the Venezuelan ambassador for the first time at the Chancellery headquarters, where he was delivered a note that "expresses in the most energetic way the Chilean government's rejection of… threats made by the government of Nicolas Maduro."
Mexico's Foreign Ministry also rejected what it called the "unfounded accusations," saying it requested the presence of Venezuela's ambassador to Mexico to hand her a letter about the issue.
"Mexico's diplomats have at all times acted in accordance with international law and the Vienna Convention," the ministry said.
Maduro had also said previously that the attack had been plotted by elements in the United States. He urged President Donald Trump to collaborate on bringing those responsible for the attack to justice.
Venezuela, once Latin America's richest nation, has been battling with political and economic crises in the past couple of years.
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