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Maduro claims to have foiled Colombian bomb plot to blow up National Assembly

VENEZUELA has said it has proof that right-wing Colombian President Ivan Duque and the CIA were involved in a number of terrorist plots aimed at overthrowing the government.

On Monday Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on the Colombian parliament to open investigations into Mr Duque’s government, including a probe into a planned bomb attack on Venezuela’s national assembly.

“The terrorist acts, which included blowing up with explosives the national assembly headquarters and the Federal Legislative Palace, were being planned since December,” he said, adding that it was a new attempt by the Colombian government to overthrow him.

The Bolivarian leader said that the latest scheme had been planned for January 25 and was headed up by CIA agent Mariano Ugarte, who was accused of recruiting mercenaries to carry out the attacks.

One of those recruited is alleged to be former parliament security official Richard Grillet Alvarez, who admitted to being recruited by the CIA to place three explosive devices there.

He testified that Mr Ugarte provided the resources and materials used to manufacture the bombs, together with a payment of $5,000 for carrying out the actions.

Venezuelan authorities say that Mr Ugarte is being protected by the Colombian National Intelligence Directorate (DNI) in a bid to prevent him from being prosecuted.

Demanding a probe by international bodies, national assembly president Jorge Rodriguez said: ”We can prove that Duque and former lawmaker Juan Guaido are linked to the terrorist plot.” 

The Colombian Prosecutor’s Office “should not wait so long to make the corresponding investigations,” he said.

Mr Rodriguez said that both Mr Duque and Mr Guaido, who has spearheaded a number of failed coup attempts since declaring himself Venezuela’s interim president in January 2019, are continuing with their plans to overthrow the democratically elected government.

“They are trying to bring violence, death and massacre to the country,” he said. 

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