A former Venezuelan municipal police chief and anti-government activist says he helped organize an operation to launch armed drones over a military rally on Saturday that President Nicolas Maduro has called an assassination attempt, Reuters reported.
In an interview, Salvatore Lucchese, a Venezuelan activist who was previously imprisoned for his role in past protests, told Reuters he orchestrated the attack with a loose association of anti-Maduro militants known generally in Venezuela as the “resistance.”
The “resistance” referred to by Lucchese is a diffuse collection of street activists, student organizers and former military officers. It has little formal structure, but is known in the country mostly for organizing protests in recent years in which demonstrators have clashed with police and soldiers.
Reuters could not independently verify Lucchese’s claims about the attack, in which drones flew over the rally in central Caracas. Explosives aboard the drones detonated, injuring seven military officers and sending attendees scurrying for cover.
Lucchese described the incident as part of a sustained, armed effort against Maduro. He declined to describe his precise role in the operation, in the broader resistance or identify others involved, citing the need to protect their identity.
“We had an objective and in the moment we were not able to materialize it 100 percent,” Lucchese said in an interview in Bogota, where he is traveling because of activities with other opposition figures. “The armed struggle will continue.”