One of the masterminds behind an attack on Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro claims to have used an online-bought drone fitted with hand grenades in a plot planned at a rural farmhouse in Colombia, according to reports.
The organizer of the attack spoke anonymously to CNN, telling the network: ‘We have tried every peaceful and democratic way to bring an end to this tyranny that dresses itself as democracy.
‘We have friends who are in custody, tortured. This was a hard decision.’
Footage appears to show those behind the attack taking the drones – bought over the web from the United States – on test runs in rural Colombia.
Video provided by the perpetrator shows the group flying the drones at green gazebo targets during the day and night.
It also shows them trying to read instructions in Chinese on the drone packaging and building the bomb.
Amid an idyllic backdrop the group try to fly the drones high before sending them down low. The devices would later be dismantled and taken into Venezuela.
Footage appears to show those behind the attack aiming the drones at gazebo targets
The perpetrators prepared by flying the drone day and night, according to the footage
The online bought devices would later be ‘dismantled and taken into Venezuela for the attack’
One of the organizers of the attack said the device was armed by hand with military grade explosives. The man provided phone footage of the drones, explosives, and practice flights
The group are said to have rented a rural farmhouse in Colombia and planned the attack there
The attacker, who says Colombia was not involved in the assault, also claims to have met with US officials three times after the failed assassination attempt.
He said: ‘After, they set up three meetings which I imagine was to collect information to study the case, but it didn’t go past that.
‘They wanted to get information and then we asked for things in return. They took notes on this, and we asked if they would be able to help. Then they simply left with their notes, and they never appeared again.’
There is no proof of the meetings, CNN reports, and a US State Department spokesman declined to comment on the allegation.
In the aftermath of the attack questions were raised about whether it was faked.
Maduro had been addressing a military parade in Caracas on live TV, when he suddenly halted and looked to the sky after hearing an explosion.
He and his wife Cilia Flores were swamped with aides carrying bulletproof shields but both escaped uninjured.
Video showed hundreds of soldiers who were assembled in neat formation on a wide road scatter in all directions amid the sound of screaming.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his wife Cilia Flores react following the explosion
Venezuelan National Guard soldiers run after the attack on August 4 last year
Opposition leader Juan Guaido is the first viable challenge in years to Maduro’s hold on power
In the months following Venezuela plunged into deeper political chaos triggered by the U.S. demand that Maduro step down a month into a second term that the U.S. and its allies in Latin America consider illegitimate.
His opponent, the 35-year-old Juan Guaido, burst onto the political stage in January in the first viable challenge in years to Maduro’s hold on power.
As head of the Congress, Guaido declared himself interim president on Jan. 23, saying he had a constitutional right to assume presidential powers from the ‘tyrant’ Maduro.
The escalating crisis is taking place against a backdrop of economic and social turmoil that has led to severe shortages of food and medicine that have forced millions to flee the once-prosperous OPEC nation.