Venezuela’s Maduro is evacuated from stage after ‘attempt against the President’

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was evacuated from a stage on Saturday during a speech in Caracas after what authorities concluded was an attempted “terrorist attack against the president.”

Maduro was giving a speech live on TV commemorating the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard when his wife, next to him, seemed startled and looked up. Others on stage looked up as well and people evacuated the stage.

In a tweet, the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, called the incident at the military parade a “terrorist attack against the president and the high military command blaming the opposition for the violence.”

Venezuela’s international government broadcaster, TeleSUR, said on Twitter that the Venezuelan government confirmed an attempted attack on Maduro.

Venezuela’s vice president for communications, Jorge Rodriguez, later addressed the nation on live TV at the request of Maduro. He said people heard explosions that corresponded to drones and heard drones detonate near a parade for the occasion.

“We established, with evidence, that this was an attempt against the president.”

He said the President is safe and meeting with the ministers and high commanders of the Venezuelan military. Seven national guard officers at the parade were hurt and treated at nearby hospitals.

Maduro planned to address the country and give more detail. Rodriguez blamed the ultra-right opposition for the incident.

Miguel Perez Abad, president of the Venezuelan government banks, tweeted “In a few moments, our national government will inform about what happened at Bolivar Avenue. Calm and tranquility […] our president @NicolasMaduro is okay as well as all of our military’s top brass of the revolution.”