Venezuela government says it thwarted ‘coup’ plot aided by Israeli, US ‘agents’

After defecting to US, former intelligence chief says Hezbollah cells were allowed to operate in Venezuela and raise funds

27 June 2019

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s socialist government said Wednesday it had derailed a coup bid, claiming the United States, Colombia and Chile colluded in a military plot to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro and install a general and former defense minister in his place.

Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said the plan involved active and retired army officers and was to have been executed between Sunday and Monday this past weekend.

“We were in all the meetings to plan the coup d’Etat. We were in all the conferences,” Rodriguez said, suggesting that government informers had infiltrated the alleged plotters during planning meetings.

He accused Colombia’s right-wing President Ivan Duque of “planning coups, assassinations of the president” as well as implicating Chile’s conservative President Sebastian Pinera and US National Security Advisor John Bolton in the plot. He also accused opposition leader Juan Guaido of planning “a bloodbath.”

He also said “Israel terrorist agents” had been involved.

More than two dozen people, aided by “Israeli, US and Colombian terrorist agents,” planned to block Caracas highways and seize military and intelligence units, Rodriguez said, according to the Bloomberg news agency.