Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro unleashed a hailstorm of serious accusations against the Trump administration and specifically National Security Advisor John Bolton on Wednesday, telling a press conference that Bolton is currently planning to overthrow and to kill him.
Maduro said at the press conference, which was broadcast on his Facebook page, that Bolton is in the midst of "preparing a plan of my assassination" using "mercenary and paramilitary" forces from neighboring countries.
The embattled and globally isolated Venezuelan president went into some degree of detail during the remarks outlining what he says is a conspiracy against him:
John Bolton leads the plan to unleash violence and conduct a coup to introduce a transitional government. Bolton is preparing a plan of my assassination. He is training, in various places, mercenary and paramilitary units’ forces jointly with Colombia, whose president Ivan Duque is an accomplice of this plan.
Maduro has made the charge that Washington is seeking his assassination a number of times, especially after only months ago in early August he evaded a bizarre assassination attempt involving C4-laden drones at a military ceremony in Caracas.
A constant theme of Maduro's has been that the United States would use Columbia to carry out the plot, which he emphasized in allegations made in October.
His Wednesday remarks followed prior weekend comments claiming a coup attempt was in the works. Venezuela's official AVN news agency quoted him on December 9 as saying, “An attempt to undermine Venezuela’s democratic life and to carry out a coup d’etat against the constitutional, democratic regime in our country has been launched under the coordination from the White House.”
The president announced that in the coming days he would hold another press conference to reveal further details of the alleged assassination plans, which should be interesting considering international reports are nothing his consistent lack of evidence when he brings forth such charges.
However, a bombshell New York Times report published in September suggested Maduro is perhaps right to be paranoid. The report detailed several secret meetings between the Trump administration and Venezuela military officers to talk about potential coup plans, but according to Times sources "the coup plans stalled". It had reportedly involved a "clandestine channel" ordered by the White House prior to last summer to set up contacts with "rebellious officers" bent on bringing about regime change with the help of Washington.