Sunday, 10 May 2020 1:44 AM [ Last Update: Sunday, 10 May 2020 2:09 AM ]
This file Photo shows members of the special forces unit seen at a shore, after Venezuela’s government announced a failed “mercenary” incursion, in Macuto, Venezuela, May 3, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)
The Venezuelan Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the boats were equipped with machine guns and ammunition, but had no crew.
It said the Colombian vessels were discovered as part of a nationwide operation to guarantee the country’s “freedom and sovereignty”.
Before dawn on Sunday, a group of US-backed mercenaries tried to intrude into the northern state of La Guaira on boats, but Venezuelan authorities foiled the attack — which was launched from Colombia — killing eight of the armed men and arresting several others.
In a state television address on Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas said authorities had detained terrorists involved in the Sunday attack, including two Americans, identified as Airan Berry and Luke Denman.
On Wednesday, the Venezuelan state television broadcast the video of the two US nationals confessing to training dissident Venezuelan troops in Colombia to oust Maduro
.US mercenary says group plotted to seize Venezuela’s presidential palaceAn American soldier of fortune captured during a botched attempt to seize Venezuela’s leader claims his group had plotted to raid Nicolas Maduro’s presidential palace.
The Venezuelan government later accused Colombian President Ivan Duque of enabling the operation.
Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the mercenaries were ” a group of terrorist mercenaries from Colombia” who tried to carry out an invasion by sea “in order to commit terrorist acts in the country, murdering leaders of the revolutionary government.”
Colombia, however, has described the government’s assertion as unfounded.
Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia last year.