'No US government involvement' in Venezuela attack: John Bolton

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 05, 2018, 07:09 PM(IST)

File photo of US National Security Adviser John Bolton. Photograph:( ANI )

Unites States' National Security Advisor John Bolton responded to the accusations of "assassination" attempt on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday during a Caracas military parade.

While speaking to a US TV channel, Bolton said the incident could be "a pretext set up by the regime itself" of President Nicolas Maduro "or something else." While denying any US role, he said that if Venezuela had "hard information" of a potential violation of US law, "we will take a serious look at it."

Earlier on Sunday a television broadcast by Maduro was cut short during an outdoor speech at a military event after an explosion occurred as several drones with explosives detonated near the President.

The president came unharmed from the attack.

Following the incident, he had accused neighbouring Colombia and unidentified ''financiers'' in the United States. However, some of his officials have blamed Venezuela's opposition.

Colombia had already denied any involvement as it called the accusations "baseless".

Venezuelan state television images showed Maduro looking up disconcertedly in the middle of a speech yesterday when a bang was heard, then uniformed members of the country's National Guard lined up in the parade suddenly breaking ranks and scattering.

No drones could be seen in the television broadcast, which showed bodyguards jumping in front of Maduro to protect him with flexible ballistic shields. The broadcast was quickly cut.

Maduro has remained in power over Venezuela, a major oil exporting nation, despite a collapsing economy and a long-running political crisis that has seen his country isolated internationally.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have fled the country, where food and medicine are in very short supply, and where inflation this year could reach as high as one million per cent according to the International Monetary Fund.

Maduro, a 55-year-old Socialist leader who took over from his late mentor Hugo Chavez in 2013, has effectively sidelined the fractured opposition through control of the courts and the electoral body -- and undinting support from the military, which holds key posts in his government.

Maduro often accuses the opposition and the United States of working together to foment a "coup" to topple him.

(With inputs from AFP)

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