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Maduro Accuses the US and Colombia of Attempting an Elaborate Coup
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=51054"><span class="small">Anthony Faiola, Washington Post</span></a>   
Thursday, 27 June 2019 08:23

Faola writes: "Venezuela's top government spokesman on Wednesday called the country's former spy chief a 'traitor,' a 'mercenary' and a 'slave' to the United States, and accused him of working with opposition leaders not only to overthrow the government but also to kill President Nicolás Maduro, his wife and other senior government officials."

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. (photo: AP)
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. (photo: AP)


Maduro Accuses the US and Colombia of Attempting an Elaborate Coup

By Anthony Faiola, Washington Post

27 June 19

 

enezuela’s top government spokesman on Wednesday called the country’s former spy chief a “traitor,” a “mercenary” and a “slave” to the United States, and accused him of working with opposition leaders not only to overthrow the government but also to kill President Nicolás Maduro, his wife and other senior government officials.

Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez said authorities had foiled a plot this month that would have involved an invasion by Israeli, Colombian and North American agents, the seizure of military bases, a raid on the central bank and the assassination or kidnapping of several senior officials.

Rodríguez made the claims less than 48 hours after The Washington Post published an article based on hours of exclusive interviews with Gen. Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera, the former head of Maduro’s feared SEBIN intelligence agency.

Figuera, who defected in April to join an opposition uprising, described a regime that operated more like an organized criminal enterprise than a functioning government, with pervasive Cuban influence and corruption at the highest levels. He also alleged new details of the failed April 30 uprising, which he said included the defense minister and the chief justice of the supreme court before they backed out. (Both men have denied involvement and remain in their positions.)

Figuera, now in the United States, rejected Rodríguez’s claims on Wednesday.

“They are trying to paint us as criminals and not as heroes,” he said.

He added that Rodriguez is “trying to discredit me and make me look like a mercenary, because they know that I have morals and that I cannot be accused of the atrocities committed by this criminal enterprise and the bad governance of Maduro and his band of outlaws.”

The Colombian government has denied the charge of a plot, as does the United States. “It shows the absurdity of the regime,” said a senior U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the situation.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the leader of the country’s National Assembly, dismissed Rodríguez’s account as fiction.

“Once again, another novel by the regime,” said Guaidó, who is recognized by the United States and more than 50 other countries as Venezuela’s rightful leader. “We are used to it, just as we are used to persecution by the dictatorship. It’s the only response they have left.”

Israel was just as forceful in its dismissal of the claims.

“Utter nonsense,” said Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During a 90-minute news conference at Miraflores, the presidential palace, Rodríguez played excerpts from what he said were video calls between coup plotters, and referred to a map and photographs of alleged participants. He said authorities had seized 140,000 machine gun cartridges that were to have been used in the plot.

Rodríguez said Guaidó paid Figuera hundreds of thousands of dollars to free opposition leader Leopoldo López and former police official Iván Simonovis from prison, while leaving fellow opposition leader Gen. Raúl Baduel behind bars due to an internal rift. He said Baduel wanted to oust Guaidó and lead a transition himself.

López made a surprise public appearance with Guaidó at the La Carlota military base in Caracas on the morning of the April 30 uprising. Simonovis escaped from prison and is now in the United States.

“The hero of The Washington Post, the key intelligence chief Manuel Cristopher Figuera, ended up being not only a traitor and a slave of North Americans, but also a mercenary,” he said.

Figuera said Wednesday that he never requested nor received money to liberate any prisoner. He said Guaidó signed and he himself authorized pardons for all three men, and he hopes Baduel is liberated soon.

Figuera said no Israeli groups were involved in any negotiations that he was a part of, and he was aware of no plans to assassinate Maduro or any other official.

Rodríguez alleged that the conspirators had divided tasks between three combat groups. One would seek to kill Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores, senior official Diosdado Cabello and former Caracas Mayor Freddy Bernal. Another would kidnap interior minister Néstor Reverol and take over military counterintelligence headquarters and two military bases. The third planned to kidnap Gen. Gustavo González López, who was named head of the intelligence police after Figuera defected and escaped to neighboring Colombia.

Rodríguez said the plotters planned to rob the central bank to finance “terrorist acts.” He alleged that the Colombian and Dominican governments had offered support.

Figuera denied the claims.

“They know they have made too many mistakes and they seek alternative facts to negate the morality of those of us who decided to stand on the right side of history,” he said.

He added, “They offend the people with its inconsistency of their declarations. They are an insult to intelligence.”

He called Rodríguez, a psychiatrist, an “expert manipulator,” with “all the tools needed to lie efficiently.”

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+2 # Kootenay Coyote 2019-06-27 20:16
Rodriguez’ position is highly credible: no one is easier to turn than a spook, since to function s/he must become a philosophical & ethical contradiction. & the other players noted here, the USA, the Venezuelan elitist opposition & Israel all have highly questionable records.
 
 
+2 # AshamedAmerican 2019-06-27 20:59
What informed person can doubt that the US is working on any number of regime change plans for Venezuela again?