"Thirteen terrorists were caught. We seized materials they intended to use for their plan. We found drugs, dollars, arms, satellite phones, radio receiving sets and night vision equipment," Maduro said during a speech in Caracas broadcast by the national TV, TASS reported.
He added that everyone who had taken part in the operation to capture the criminals would be rewarded and promoted.
On May 3, the Venezuelan authorities announced that they had successfully foiled an attempt to infiltrate the country by a mercenary group travelling from Colombia looking to stage a coup d’etat in Venezuela. According to President of Constitutional Assembly Diosdado Cabello, the mercenaries were trying to break through into the country aboard boats.
Colombia rejected the statement of the Venezuelan side. According to the Colombian authorities, Caracas is putting forward unfounded accusations against Bogota to distract from the country’s domestic issues.
The political crisis in Venezuela exacerbated on January 23, 2019, when Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas. Several countries, including the United States, and most of the EU states recognized him.
In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, who has blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.