Investigation launched into allegations of plot to “destabilize” government before elections

Venezuelan prosecutors have opened an investigation into allegations that Colombian armed groups have made contacts to “destabilize” the government of President Nicolas Maduro ahead of presidential elections scheduled for July 28.

The group, calling itself the Sierra Nevada Self-Defense Invasion Forces, said it had been contacted with the aim of “destabilizing the government of the Republic of Venezuela,” AFP reported on Saturday.

In a video posted on social media, the group said they were called on to “destroy electricity infrastructure, take action against presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro and, if re-elected, infiltrate protests and cause chaos in the streets.”

In response, Attorney General Tarek William Saab said on the X platform that he had ordered an investigation to “punish those responsible for new threats to assassinate the head of state.”

Prior to the prosecutor’s announcement, President Maduro said on his radio show that “the group was contacted by Venezuelan far-right forces, who asked us to bring in a thousand elements who would incite violence in the border states,” and called for an investigation into the allegations.

The alleged plot was announced after the government accused the opposition of plotting to overturn the presidential election.

Two weeks ago, President Maduro accused opposition candidate Edmundo Gonzalez Urrutia of instigating a coup after he refused to sign an agreement to respect the results of the vote. Gonzalez was declared the opposition coalition’s candidate after Marina Corina Machado was disqualified.

Machado is currently campaigning for Edmundo González Urrutia, a 74-year-old former ambassador who has agreed to replace her in the presidential election.

Campaigning kicked off in Venezuela on Thursday for its presidential election, scheduled for July 28.

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