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Venezuela Says It Fought Off Terrorist Invasion by Boat

'Mercenary terrorists' were killed or arrested, officials say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 3, 2020 11:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – Venezuelan officials said they foiled an early-morning attempt by a group of armed men to invade the country by boat on Sunday, killing eight attackers and arresting two more. Socialist party chief Diosdado Cabello said on state television that two of the attackers were being interrogated by authorities, the AP reports. Interior Minister Nestor Reverol earlier described the attackers as "mercenary terrorists" who had arrived from Colombia intent on overthrowing Venezuela's government and creating "chaos." Officials said the attack took place in La Guaira, about 20 miles from Caracas and home to the nation's largest airport. Venezuela has been in a deepening political and economic crisis in recent years under President Nicolás Maduro. Crumbling public services such as running water, electricity and medical care has driven nearly 5 million to migrate.

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A coalition of nearly 60 nations back opposition leader Juan Guaidó. The US has led a campaign to oust Maduro, increasing pressure in recent weeks by indicting the socialist leader as a narcotrafficker and offering a $15 million reward for his arrest. In addition, Maduro’s government has faced small-scale military threats, including an attempt to assassinate Maduro with a drone and Guaidó’s call for a military uprising, which few soldiers joined. The AP reported Friday that an attempt to amass an invasion force of 300 men in Colombia had setbacks in March when an organizer was arrested, an arms cache was seized, and some participants left camp. Also Sunday, Cesar Omana, a businessman who participated in a plot against Maduro a year ago, said some 30 armed commandos from the Sebin intelligence police raided his Caracas home early in the day. Omana is not in the country.

(Read more Venezuela stories.)

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