Venezuelan Officials Claim to Have Stopped an Armed Invasion

Venezuelan Officials Claim to Have Stopped an Armed Invasion

Venezuelan Officials Claim to Have Stopped an Armed Invasion

Venezuelan Officials Claim to Have Stopped an Armed Invasion

CARACAS — The Venezuelan government said security forces foiled an armed incursion Sunday morning near the capital, Caracas, killing eight men and capturing the remaining two.

Néstor Reverol, the interior minister, said the group of “mercenary terrorists” had come from Colombia by speedboat, intending to invade Venezuela and overthrow the government, but that it was stopped at the port of La Guaira, near Caracas.

President Nicolás Maduro and his officials have denounced dozens of coup and assassination attempts in recent years as the economy has sunk deeper into crisis and millions of Venezuelans have fled the country. Some of the assertions proved to be true, while others were never independently verified.

The coup denunciations are often based on real discontent among Venezuelan officials and military officers but are almost always exaggerated to create a siege mentality among government supporters and to garner international sympathy, analysts say.

The vice president of Venezuela’s governing party, Diosdado Cabello — who, like Mr. Reverol, has been linked by the United States to a drug conspiracy — said the plot thwarted on Sunday had been organized by Clíver Alcalá, a dissident retired Venezuelan general who recently surrendered to United States law enforcement to face drug charges.

Before being taken into custody, General Alcalá said in March from his exile in Colombia that he was organizing a military incursion into neighboring Venezuela to overthrow Mr. Maduro. His plan was dismantled by the Colombian authorities, he said.

Mr. Diosdado blamed the United States, Colombia and international drug cartels — the government’s usual scapegoats for the deep economic hardships facing Venezuela — for the most recent attack. He said one of the detained men confessed to being an agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration and that combat helmets with American flags were among the captured matériel.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but in the past American officials have said Mr. Maduro’s accusations against the United States are attempts to divert responsibility for the country’s deep domestic problems.

Venezuela’s struggling economy went into a tailspin this year after a modest improvement in living conditions was derailed by the coronavirus pandemic, the collapse of the oil prices and a tightening of American sanctions. Mr. Maduro responded to the crisis by reverting to economic controls and printing more local currency, which sank local food production and unleashed a new bout of hyperinflation.


Source link

Check Also

2 Hurricanes Devastated Central America. Will the Ruin Spur a Migration Wave?

2 Hurricanes Devastated Central America. Will the Ruin Spur a Migration Wave?

2 Hurricanes Devastated Central America. Will the Ruin Spur a Migration Wave? 2 Hurricanes Devastated …