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Failed Maduro assassination part of US plans for coup: Venezuelan official

Diosdado Cabello Rondón is a Venezuelan politician, member of the National Assembly of Venezuela and a former Speaker of the country's legislature, and active member of the Venezuelan armed forces.

The US was behind the failed drone assassination of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, says Diosdado Cabello, the speaker of the ruling Constituent Assembly of Venezuela.

"The presidential assassination that was stopped was led by the United States. Is there anyone who has any doubt?" Cabello exclaimed at an event held by the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) on Monday.

The US  "acknowledges having met at least three times with military coup leaders to carry out a coup" added Cabello, linking the failed assassination to a recent report that revealed US interest in instigating a coup against the Venezuelan president.

Cabello's remarks come after Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza had denounced what he alleged as US cooperation with anti-government rebels in the country.

"We denounce before the international community the intervention plans and the support of military plots against Venezuela by the United States government." announced the foreign minister in a tweet, adding that "Even in the US media, new and blatant evidences have come to light."

The Venezuelan minister's statement was made in reference to a New York Times revelation that claimed Trump administration officials had discussed toppling the Venezuelan president with insurgent Venezuelan military officers.

The piece alleged that three meetings were held between mutinous Venezuelan military officials and an American diplomat, after Trump had signaled US interest in military interference by declaring that the US had a “military option” for Venezuela, last August.

The Americans never contributed or clearly endorsed the rebels' plans; however, the meetings were seen by the rebels as a subtle sign of US approval.

“The mere presence of a US official at such a meeting would likely be perceived as encouragement.” commented George Washington University historian Peter Kornbluh on the revelations.

The report comes amid increased speculation among Venezuelan officials of the US being behind recent armed attacks on the Venezuelan government.  

A rogue faction of Venezuelan police attacked the country’s Supreme Court in Caracas last year, dropping grenades on the building. Two drones also targeted an assembly addressed by Maduro on August 4. Independent observers have suspected possible US involvement.

American officials have openly talked about military intervention and coups in Venezuela.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has been a vocal supporter of armed interference in Venezuela, promoting the idea on numerous occasions.

The senator tweeted in support of a military coup by the Venezuelan military last February.

The senator's tweet came days after Rex Tillerson, who was secretary of state at the time, had spoken of a possible military ousting of Maduro while addressing an event at the University of Texas.

In a speech in April, then White House’s Senior Director for Latin America Juan Cruz called for the Venezuelan military to "honor your oath."

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