Venezuela: Investigation opened into alleged plan to “destabilize” government before elections Venezuela: Investigation opened into alleged plan to “destabilize” government before elections

Venezuela: Investigation opened into alleged plan to “destabilize” government before elections

Venezuela: Investigation opened into alleged plan to “destabilize” government before elections

Venezuela's public prosecutor has opened an investigation into allegations by a Colombian armed group it says it was contacted to "destabilize" President Nicolas Maduro's government ahead of presidential elections scheduled for July 28.

A group calling itself the Sierra Nevada Self-Defense Invasion Forces said it was contacted with the aim of "destabilizing the government of the Republic of Venezuela," Agence France-Presse reported on Saturday.

The group said in a video posted on social media that it was asked to "damage electricity infrastructure, take action against presidential candidate Nicolás Maduro and take action if he is re-elected by infiltrating protests and creating 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 the new threats to assassinate the head of state.”

Prior to the prosecutor's announcement, Maduro had called for an investigation into the allegations, saying on his radio show: "The group was contacted by members of the Venezuelan far right to bring a thousand elements to foment violence in the border states."

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

Two weeks ago, Maduro accused his main rival, Edmundo Gonzalez Urrutia, of inciting a coup after the opposition candidate 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 race.

On Thursday, the presidential election campaign began in Venezuela, which is scheduled to take place on July 28.

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