20:39 GMT11 July 2020
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday that the US Chargé d’ Affaires, for the Venezuela Affairs Unit, James Story, played a part in Sunday's boat incursion from Colombia.

    "James Story was the last [US] Chargé d'Affaires in Venezuela. We kicked him out, he now has an office in Bogota, in Colombia. I can say, and this will be confirmed by declassified documents, that James Story is responsible for the failed armed invasion, which was suppressed by the armed forces in Macuto Bay. James Story is involved in this military invasion", Maduro said in an interview with the state-run VTV broadcaster.

    The president added that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams were also responsible for the attempted coup.

    Meanwhile, on Thursday, US President Donald Trump said he planned to appoint Story as the next US ambassador to Venezuela.

    Earlier this week, Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said that Colombian mercenaries had tried to invade the northern state of La Guaira on speed boats on Sunday morning. Eight militants were killed, and two others captured in the counteroperation. Among those detained is an agent for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, according to the Venezuelan authorities. The Colombian Foreign Ministry has denied any involvement of the country in the alleged attack.

    Venezuela and Colombia regularly accuse each other of supporting anti-government militants. Relations between the two neighbouring nations took another nosedive after Colombia recognised US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president in January 2019. Maduro, whose presidency was supported by Russia and China, among others, has denounced Guaido as "a US puppet", and Washington’s sanctions as an illegal attempt to seize the country’s sovereign assets.

    Tags:
    attempts, Invasion, United States, Colombia, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
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