GENEVA – The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is actively involved in Venezuela trying to bribe senior commanders of the Bolivarian army, according to Jorge Valero, the Venezuelan UN ambassador to Geneva.
The statement was made by the diplomat during a demonstration at a news conference in Geneva.
“[US President Donald] Trump wants to overthrow regimes through coups. That’s why the CIA is present in significant numbers in Venezuela. The CIA tried to bribe high-ranking military officers but failed,” he said.
On April 30, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who proclaimed himself interim president of the country, launched a so-called operation to remove Nicolas Maduro from power. In a video posted on Twitter, Guaidó appeared alongside the military and opposition leader Leopoldo López, who was imprisoned since 2014 and was released by the rebels at the La Carlota airbase in Caracas. Guaidó called for a “non-violent struggle,” said he had the military on his side and said that “the time is now.”
Maduro, meanwhile, said that top military commanders maintain loyalty to his government and called for “maximum popular mobilization to ensure the victory of peace.”
Meanwhile, the administrative building of the Venezuelan Parliament was closed on Thursday morning after receiving a bomb alert.
A source in Parliament’s communications department told the EFE news agency that an official found a suspicious folder on the second basement of the building, which in Venezuela is known as “Pajaritos” and is just a few meters from the Federal Legislative Palace, where the MPs meet.
On Tuesday, the main seat of the Venezuelan Parliament was also closed after being targeted by a bomb threat.
The opposition accused the regime of Nicolas Maduro as an “attempt to impede the work of the opposition.”
On Tuesday, in addition to National Guard agents, police officers and Sebin’s agents – Maduro’s intelligence service – sealed off Parliament, the only power in the hands of the opposition led by Guaidó.