‘Foreign mercenaries’: Maduro accuses ‘the devil’s puppet’ Guaido of plotting his assassination

The president of Venezuela has accused Juan Guaido of plotting to kill him, after the opposition leader’s aide was arrested as an alleged terrorist and charged with recruiting foreign mercenaries to carry out attacks and sabotage.

“American imperialists want to kill me. We just exposed the plan that the devil's puppet [Juan Guaido] personally directed to kill me,” President Nicolas Maduro told his supporters on Saturday, claiming his government has “evidence” on the opposition’s alleged criminal activities.

Roberto Marrero, chief of staff to the US-backed opposition leader Guaido, conspired with his boss to finance terrorist acts in Venezuela, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez told the nation on Saturday, accusing the arrested members of the opposition of trafficking hitmen from Central America.

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“Assassins and paramilitaries have been recruited using large amounts of money so that they can be sent to Colombia to receive training,” he said. “Marrero was involved in contracting people from Guatemala and Colombia to comply with the recruitment and training plan for assassins.”

Information gathered from Marrero’s cell phone indicates that the opposition was planning to put together eight to 10 hit teams, each comprising at least eight mercenaries, to carry out assassinations, sabotage and acts of terrorism against government institutions in Venezuela.

At least 60 people had received special paramilitary training in Colombia and half of them have allegedly already infiltrated Venezuela, following the failed attempt to bring in the so-called humanitarian convoys from the US on February 23.

“At least 30 paramilitaries hired from El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala –trained in Colombia– entered Venezuela. We are looking for them. We have already identified some,” he said on state television, showing screenshots from Marrero’s phone as proof and accusing the US of running the operation.

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