Venezuelan names exiled foe in attack

Nicolas Maduro

The president also named opposition lawmaker Juan Requesens, who was seen in a video widely circulating on social media being arrested by Venezuela's political police force.

In the attack, two drones armed with explosives detonated near Mr Maduro as he spoke outdoors during a military celebration on Saturday evening.

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

Requesens' detention further swells the ranks of opposition activists forced into exile, arrested, or barred from politics during a crackdown by Maduro, a 55-year-old former bus driver and union leader elected in 2013 to replace the late Hugo Chavez.

In a television and radio address, Maduro simultaneously accused opposition legislator Juan Requesens and Borges, a former parliamentary speaker now in exile who is a top opposition figure, of having plotted a drone "assassination" attempt on the Socialist leader over the weekend.

Maduro said statements from some of the six suspects arrested earlier had implicated the two lawmakers, as well as key financiers. "The investigations point to him", Maduro said during Tuesday's broadcast, though he provided no details of Borges' alleged role.

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 USA state of Florida. "You're not fooling anybody", he said. "This is another parody of Maduro".

He added he will use the agreements of extradition to ask for those responsible "who financed, directed and carried out this terrorist attempt", and assured that another of those involved is Mauricio Jimenez Pinzon, official in charge of the Colombian immigration.

On Monday, Attorney General Tarek William Saab said several suspects were in custody and authorities would track down "all those who conspire against public peace".

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

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

During Maduro's two-hour speech, videos were displayed showing alleged suspects and images of the drones exploding.

The head of state showed a video confirming that Rayder Russo, living in Colombia, and Osman Delgado, based in the United States were those who planned the failed attempt.

"I want to explain to the government of the United States and the government of Colombia in detail all the evidence", Maduro said.

Venezuela's foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, and Saab, the attorney general, met Wednesday with James Story, the top US diplomat in Caracas.

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