Maduro opponents warn of crackdown after blast in Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro

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Maduro later accused the neighboring nation of Colombia and elements within the United States for planning a "right-wing plot" to kill him, adding he has "no doubt" Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was "behind this attack".

As for Maduro's accusations that the alleged perpetrators are in Florida and Colombia, Andrade said that this is part of the "stigmatized Cuban script that is always the fault of the Miami and now Bogota groups".

The Broad Front opposition alliance issued a statement accusing the government or leaping to the assumption the explosions were an assassination attempt and of making "irresponsible" accusations without any proof.

The Venezuelan government has claimed six activists were arrested on Sunday following explosions at a military event at which the Venezuelan President was giving a speech.

"We are convinced that settling political differences must be carried out exclusively in a peaceful and democratic way", the foreign ministry said.

Venezuela's Minister of Communication says preliminary information shows the explosions came from several "drone-type flying devices" containing explosive charges that detonated in the vicinity of the presidential stage, . and in other areas of the parade.

The attack highlights Maduro's challenges in maintaining control over the OPEC nation, where widespread food and medicine shortages have fuelled outrage.

Nearby residents told The Associated Press that they saw a drone crash into a building and explode blocks from where Maduro was speaking in Caracas.

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Meanwhile, an obscure four-year-old Venezuelan group calling itself the "National Movement of Soldiers in T-shirts" has claimed responsibility for the blast, explaining that their two drones were shot down by government snipers.

The first became "disoriented by signal inhibiting equipment" and was thus "activated outside the assassins' planned perimeter", Reverol said.

A second suspect had been detained during a wave of anti-Maduro protests in 2014 but had been released through "procedural benefits", Reverol said, without offering details.

On Sunday, White House national security adviser John Bolton said that the USA had nothing to do with the incident and suggested the whole thing may have been "a pretext set up by the regime itself".

While denying any USA role, he said that if Venezuela had "hard information" of a potential violation of U.S. law, "we will take a serious look at it".

Amid deadly, near-daily protests past year, a rogue police officer flew a stolen helicopter over the capital and launched grenades at several government buildings. The authenticity of the message could not be independently verified, and the organization did not respond to a message from the AP. Bodyguards then rush to shield Maduro, and another video angle shows soldiers fleeing the scene in a panic.

He added that the armed forces "absolutely repudiate this barbarism in a desperate attempt to destabilize" the government. "But there was a shield of love that always protects us".

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