Venezuelan authorities have thwarted an attempt to blow up an oil refining facility El Palito, which can process 146,000 barrels per day, Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami has stated. According to him, the two plotters behind the planned attack were arrested and the explosives they planned to use were seized.
The two arrested individuals are Francisco Javier Pacheco Pérez and César Antonio Guevara Díaz El Aissami, the oil minister stated. He added that they plotted to blow up the refinery ahead of the parliamentary elections on 6 December.
According to the minister, the detained perpetrators were part of a group that sought to thwart the election and was purportedly funded by the Colombian government.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro earlier accused Colombia of orchestrating his assassination on election day and claimed it was thwarted due to an intelligence source leaking information about it in time. He explained that he had to change his regular polling station in order to cast his vote safely.
The parliamentary election on 6 December concluded without any major incidents with the victory of Maduro's United Socialist Party, which gained 69% of the votes. Most of the opposition parties boycotted the election, while several foreign states, namely the US, claimed that Maduro "rigged" it in his favour.