Bogota, 12 May 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Monday accepted the resignation of two of his aides, after Caracas accused them of involvement in an invasion attempt.
Exiled lawmaker Sergio Vergara said in his resignation letter that he had not been aware of the plan. Miami-based Juan Jose Rendon, who has admitted to preliminary talks with a Florida security company to topple Maduro, denied participation in “violent activities.”
Guaido’s office said he accepted the resignations and thanked the two for their “dedication and engagement with Venezuela.”
Caracas has pledged to seek the extradition of Rendon and Vergara, whose signatures appear on a contract, published by The Washington Post, with the security company Silvercorp USA. Guaido earlier denied involvement.
Incursion attempts allegedly took place about a week ago. Eight people were reported to have been killed and more than 30 arrested, including two US citizens.
A man who identified himself as one of the Americans, Luke Denman, said on a video recording there was a plan to fly Maduro to the United States.
US President Donald Trump has denied involvement.
In addition to the United States, Caracas attributes the coup plot to Colombia. Three Colombian abandoned light combat vessels were seized by Venezuela on the weekend.
Colombia’s navy said the boats were dragged away by currents. It was unclear how Bogota would request the return of the vessels, given that it does not recognize the Maduro government.
Maduro has cracked down on the opposition and presided over a massive economic meltdown. Despite backing from dozens of countries, Guaido has been unable to oust the military-backed president.