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National Security Adviser John Bolton Denies U.S. Involvement in Venezuela Drone Attack

Venezuelan officials said Saturday that President Nicolás Maduro escaped an apparent drone attack during a live televised speech in the country’s capital, Caracas. The alleged attack was cause for speculation, but U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has denied any American involvement.

“I can say, unequivocally, there is no U.S. government involvement in this at all,” Bolton told Fox News anchor Chris Wallace in an interview on Fox News Sunday. Bolton added that he spoke with the U.S. government’s head diplomatic official in Caracas on Sunday morning who confirmed that Americans in Venezuela are also safe.

The Venezuelan president was speaking in Caracas at an 81st anniversary event to commemorate the national guard when armed drones flew toward the assembly, CNN reported. Maduro, who was not hurt in the apparent attack, said later in a televised statement, “To all of our friends in the world, I am fine, I am alive.”

Maduro blamed far-right groups and outgoing Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for the incident. A Colombian source told CNN the accusations were “baseless.” The Venezuelan president told the nation, “the Bolivarian revolution keeps its path.”

An investigation into the incident is underway. Tarek William Saab, Venezuela’s attorney general told CNN that he assigned three prosecutors to investigate the drone attack. Maduro said in his televised address that some people were already in custody and facing charges, but he also blamed Venezuelans living in the U.S. for allegedly collaborating with those responsible.

“The preliminary investigation indicates that many of those responsible for the attack, the financiers and planners, live in the United States in the state of Florida,” Maduro said. “I hope the Trump administration is willing to fight terrorist groups that commit attacks in peaceful countries in our continent, in this case Venezuela.”