MOSCOW, April 4. /TASS/. /TASS/. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has put the country’s military on alert because of a plot by the opposition to assassinate him that was exposed, and called on militia units to join the pro-government armed forces known as colectivos, the Venezuelan leader said in a phone interview with Venezolana de Television TV.
"I know about their criminal plans - those who lead the opposition - their plans to kill me," Maduro specified. According to him, because of this, "the country’s military units have been put on alert" and a decision was made to beef up "intelligence and counterintelligence activities."
Maduro said that the militia joining the colectivos was necessary to "ensure peace" in Venezuelan cities and towns. President Maduro said that this measure "is constitutional, legitimate and necessary." The criminals "paid off" by the forces opposing the current authorities shouldn’t be allowed to incite violence.
The Venezuelan leader also believes that the nation’s current opposition headed by Juan Guaido is "the most criminal" over the last 20 years. Maduro once again accused his political opponents inside the country and the US administration of sabotaging the country’s power plants and stations that had led to serious problems with power supplies.
Since late March, Venezuelans unsatisfied with the lack of water and electricity have been protesting in Caracas and other cities around the country. According to the Foro Penal Venezuelan non-governmental organization, from March 29 to April 1 almost 50 people were detained during these protests. The demonstrations turned sour on a number of occasions, but no one was injured in the clashes with the police and pro-government forces.
On January 23, Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas. Several countries, including the United States, most of the EU states, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him. Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.