Bloomberg published an article this afternoon that claims that a military coup d’etat bent on removing Maduro from power and putting him on trial was thwarted at the last moment by security forces last month, leading to the arrests of dozens of alleged conspirators. The article cites “one plot coordinator”, two individuals who attended planning meetings, and the relatives and lawyers of some of the accused as sources.
According to the article, the plot was named Operacion Constituticion [Operation Constitution], and its goal was to capture Maduro and put him on trial to stop the May 20 presidential election from taking place. The conspirators allegedly planned to capture Maduro at the Miraflores Presidential Palace, and to take over a “main military base” in the country.
Bloomberg claims that in mid-May, the plot was uncovered–possibly through the efforts of of a double-agent–and “several dozen” conspirators were arrested, both military service members and civilians.
The article also claims that the conspirators sometimes met in Bogota, Colombia to plan the coup, and that while the United States government “winked from the sides”, it was not directly involved in the plot. According to the article:
Participants say the coup was first planned for April 2017 to stop Maduro from expanding his powers over Venezuela’s legislature. But an unrelated and much smaller military rebellion caused the participants to pull the plug. Planning continued into 2018, with secret meetings being held in homes in an upscale part of Caracas. At one point, a participant snuck across the border from Colombia wearing a fake mustache and using a false ID.
Maria Corina Machado Implicated in Coup
Over the past several weeks, the Maduro regime has ratcheted up pressure against Vente Venezuela (VV) leader Maria Corina Machado, after it alleged that she was involved in a plot to overthrow Maduro.
While the Bloomberg article explains that the regime continues to assert that Machado was one of the conspirators, it did not cite any of its sources as confirming her involvement.
This is not the first time that the Maduro regime has accused Machado of being involved in an anti-Maduro conspiracy. Back in 2014, the regime alleged to have intercepted e-mails written by Machado in which she discussed in detail her desire to assassinate Maduro. A cyber-security expert later confirmed with Google that the e-mails had been falsified since they did not actually exist in Machado’s account, and the regime abandoned the case against her.
Pence Visits Venezuelan Migrants in Brazil
United States Vice President Mike Pence visited Venezuelan migrants in Manaus, a city located some 850 kilometers south of the Venezuelan border. There, Pence told migrants that the U.S would continue its efforts in the region until “democracy is restored” in Venezuela.
Pence spent his time with the migrants listening to their stories about what life is like in Venezuela.
Speaking to the migrants, Pence said:
I’m here to bring a message on behalf of President Donald Trump and the American people. We are with you, we stand with you, and we will keep standing with you until democracy is restored in Venezuela.
Below, a tweet from Pence:
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