Dramatic footage shared today on social media showed two drones flying in the area which was rocked by two explosions yesterday afternoon as Maduro spoke at an event commemorating the founding of the National Guard.
Speaking in a televised address a few hours after the explosions sent him and his entourage–along with dozens of soldiers–scrambling to safety, Maduro called the event an assassination attempt, and blamed Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos. Maduro said:
They tried to kill me today.. that drone was coming for me.
Maduro also used his address to make a plea to the country’s opposition forces, saying that he alone was the guarantor of peace in the country, and suggested that his death would mean civil war for Venezuela He said:
I’m telling the opposition [people] who want to live in this country that I am the guarantor of peace, the peace for you to live in this country. If something ever happens to me, the right wing would have to face millions of humble workers and farmers, soldiers, all on the streets, carrying out justice with their own hands.
The initial reports from the scene were conflicting. While some sources reported that at least two drones had been the cause of the explosions, firefighters who responded to the scene said blamed a faulty gas line for the blast.
However, definitive proof that the explosions did in fact come from drones came today in the form of video evidence.
In the first video, a drone can be seen crashing into a building. The accompanying text explains that the video was recorded by a Telemundo camera crew, and that the drone crashed into the Don Eduardo residential building:
The second video captured the second drone as it exploded in the air:
While it is not clear at this time who was operating the drones, a Twitter account called “Soldados de Franelas” appeared to claim responsibility for the attack. The account, which has been active since last summer, is relatively well-known in Venezuela as an active resistance group to the Maduro regime.
The message reads:
The operation involved flying two drones carrying C4
The objective was the presidential palace, snipers from the honour guard shot down the drones before they reached their objective.
We’ve shown that they are vulnerable, [the goal] was not achieved today but its a matter of time #MilitaryPatriots
Because of the particularities of Spanish grammar, it is difficult to ascertain from the tone of the message if the person writing it was in fact claiming responsibility for the attack.
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