Venezuela ‘failed coup plot’: What we know so far
Maduro’s government initially said eight people were killed as they tried to enter the country on May 3 via the Caribbean coast to topple the president. The Associated Press news agency said officials later revised the number of the suspects killed to six.
Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the attackers tried to land on speedboats before dawn on a beach at Macuto, about an hour north of Caracas, but were intercepted by the military and special police units.
According to Reverol, the group, which departed from neighbouring Colombia, planned to carry out “terrorist attacks”, including assassinating officials.
He added the plan aimed “to increase the spiral of violence, generate chaos and confusion … and with that lead to a new attempt at a coup d’etat”.
Venezuelan soldiers in balaclavas move a suspect from a helicopter after what Venezuelan authorities described was a
Venezuelan soldiers move a suspect from a helicopter after what Venezuelan authorities described was a ‘mercenary incursion’ [Handout via Reuters]
Venezuelan authorities said they had arrested 13 “terrorists” involved in the incident, including the son of a prominent imprisoned general.
In a televised address on Monday night, Maduro also showed what he said were the passports and other identification papers belonging to two former US army members: Airan Berry, 41 and Luke Denman, 34.
According to The Associated Press, military records showed both were decorated soldiers who served in Iraq.
Maduro described the pair as “members of Donald Trump’s security” and said they were captured in a boat west of Caracas along with six other “terrorists”.