SANTIAGO – The Venezuelan government accuses Chile, along with Colombia and Mexico, of involvement in the attack on president Maduro on August 4. The Chilean government was quick to respond and reject the accusations. The Venezuelan ambassador has been summoned to the foreign ministry.
Earlier at a press conference, the Venezuelan Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez said that the embassies of Colombia, Chile and Mexico in Caracas “should clarify their possible participation in support of terrorists who attempted to assassinate president Maduro on August 4. 2018. ”
On that day, a drone carrying explosives exploded during the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard in Caracas, which was attended by President Nicolás Maduro and the military leadership of that country. Immediately after the attack rumors appeared about suspects. The ruling party called it a “direct attack against the president” and assured that he would not rest until those responsible were found.
During the press conference on Sunday, Jorge Rodriguez reported that three suspects of the assassination had been captured. Among them Henryberth Rivas (nickname Morfeo), who appeared in a video presented by the Venezuelan government, linking Chilean embassy personnel to the assassination attempt.
Rivas claims in the video to have been contacted by someone in Spain, who told him to go to the Chilean embassy in Caracas after the attack, where he would get help from the Mexican and Colombian embassy to flee the country. When arriving at the Chilean embassy, according to the victims statement: “the embassy was closed, there was no one there.” Following the statement, he was ordered to go to the house of the Chilean ambassador in Venezuela, where security staff send him away.
Chilean government rejects “grave insinuations”
In a press release on Sunday, the foreign affairs ministry said “Chile rejects most energetically the very serious and calumnious insinuations and threats of the government of Nicolás Maduro, made today by Jorge Rodríguez.” The country “considers the threats expressed by the Venezuelan government against the integrity of our diplomatic representation in Caracas to be of the highest severity.” As consequence, Chile has summoned Venezuela’s ambassador to the foreign ministry, where he has to explain Sunday’s press conference.
Teatinos 180 reiterated its call for dialog to solve the Venezuelan “tragedy” that “has created the largest migration of desperate citizens in the entire history of the hemisphere.” Worded to distinguish the administration from the general population, the release added that “the Venezuelan government lacks moral integrity to raise slanders against Chile.”
Rejections from Mexico and Colombia
Mexico also rejected “the unfounded accusations that [minister Rodríguez] made today regarding the supposed participation of our diplomatic personnel in Caracas in the alleged attack against President Nicolás Maduro.” Though less scathing than Chile’s statement, with the subtle qualifier ‘alleged’ Mexico hits at the Maduro government because it raises doubts an attack took place. Nonetheless, Mexico also reiterated its will to seek a diplomatic solution to Venezuela’s crisis.
Colombia, meanwhile, devoted only one sentence to Venezuela’s allegations, which it “categorically rejects.”