Venezuela president ties opposition leader to drone attack

Venezuela crisis The minimum wage is barely enough to buy a kg of meat according to a nurse

The National Constituent Assembly voted unanimously to lift the protection for Julio Borges and Juan Requesens, who have seats in the opposition-controlled legislature.

Requesens was arrested Tuesday, an action purportedly captured in a video circulating on social media. Supporters say he was kidnapped from his apartment.

The head of Venezuela's pro-government constitutional assembly said he would have the body take up a proposal Wednesday to strip the lawmakers of their immunity from prosecution.

In a television and radio address, Maduro simultaneously accused opposition legislator Juan Requesens and Borges of having plotted a drone "assassination" attempt on the Socialist leader over the weekend.

Maduro says that he is the victim of a right-wing plot led by the Colombian government and US residents to overthrow him.

The Maduro administration said Colombia - including ex-president Juan Manuel Santos, who ended his term Tuesday - had collaborated on the attack with the "ultra far-right" Venezuelan opposition, and it was financed by unnamed figures in the U.S. state of Florida.

"We want to see you out of power, imprisoned for the violation of human rights, imprisoned for the destruction of democracy", Borges said.

Leftist Maduro had said that Requesens, who he described as "one of the craziest ones, a psychopath", had been implicated in the launch of two DJI M600 drones laden with C4 explosives over an outdoor rally attended by Maduro on Saturday.

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Venezuela's interior minister Nestor Reverol announced Sunday that six persons had been arrested in the case of drones loaded with explosives that were used as part of an attack against Maduro.

Mr Borges did not immediately comment on Mr Maduro's accusation.

The move brought an immediate outcry from the opposition.

The events come as Venezuela's economy continues to haemorrhage and thousands flee to neighbouring nations seeking food and medical care.

Venezuela's president Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with government officials at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela August 7, 2018.

The International Monetary Fund projects inflation could top 1 million percent by year's end. One video included a purported confession by one handcuffed suspect, whose face was blurred out as explained the plot.

A former police chief, Salvatore Lucchese, who is also in Bogota, also claimed to have played a role in the attack and warned of others in a televised interview.

Maduro said he would provide evidence to authorities in both countries and ask for their co-operation in handing over suspects who helped orchestrate and finance the attack. "I trust in the good faith of Donald Trump".

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