President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro survived what was a supposed assassination attempt earlier this weekend. During a speech, drones were flown towards the President and his wife, which contained explosives. The drones did not reach the President nor his wife, Cilia Flores. It remains unclear if the weapons were shot down or exploded prematurely; seven individuals were injured.
Maduro made a statement, blaming the country of Colombia and the US State of Florida as being the responsible perpetrators. Florida is the home to a large population of Venezuelan exiles. From his official residence hours after the attack, Maduro announced the perpetrators had been captured. In addition, Maduro has called on President Donald Trump to help “…catch the terrorists who perpetrated the attack.”
In a televised address, Maduro stated:
I am alive and victorious… Everything points to the Venezuelan ultra-right in alliance with the Colombian ultra-right, and that the name of Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack.
A spokesperson for Colombian President Santos denied the allegations. The two have a tumultuous history, wherein the Colombian leader regularly labels Maduro as an oppressive dictator. Santos has also stated that he believes Maduro is leading Venezuela into political and economic turmoil. Firefighters at the scene of the explosion have disputed official claims that drones detonated explosives, claiming that the loud bangs heard were caused by the explosion of a gas tank ion a nearby apartment.
Venezuela, a country with the highest proven oil reserves around the globe, has been in an economic and political crisis for years. The IMF is predicting inflation to reach 1 million percent by the end of the year. There are still massive shortages of food and medical care available to residents of the country. Neighboring Colombia has taken a large brunt of migrant Venezuelans crossing the border daily for food and other resources.