Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro doesn't quite have the same knack for constantly antagonizing America in all the attention-getting ways as his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, but he does occasionally like to make claims that the U.S. is behind some sort of supposed coup or another.
Just yesterday, Maduro claimed that an American-linked plan to bomb his presidential palace was foiled.
"It is the government of the United States that is behind the plans of destabilization and coups against Venezuela. I have come here to denounce it. ... We have dismantled a coup attempt against democracy, against the stability of our homeland," Maduro said in an address on state-owned television yesterday. "It was an attempt to use a group of officials from the air force to provoke a violent act, an attack."
He claimed that there was plan by rogue Venezuelan Air Force officials to commandeer a Super Tucano jet and then drop bombs on either the presidential palace or a public event where Maduro was speaking. He claims that America had "bought the loyalty" of the Air Force members with "money and visas."
A retired Air Force general Maduro has pinned as the leader of the coup has been arrested. Thirteen others are also in custody, including 10 members of the military, two opposition politicians, and one businessman.
The U.S. State Department has not responded to the accusations.
Maduro had previously claimed that the U.S. has poisoned his predecessor Chavez, and accused America and other countries like Colombia of trying to overthrow his government. All charges have been denied, and Maduro has never provided much detail after he making the bombastic accusations.
As it turns out, yesterday's round of accusations coincided with the one-year anniversary of the protests that internally upended Venezuela for months.