Two loud explosions were heard during a military parade attended by Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas on 4 August to mark the 81st anniversary of the national guard. The government claimed they were caused by two drones laden with explosives used in a failed attempt to assassinate Maduro perpetrated by the Venezuelan Right, “terrorist” former members of the military, and the Colombian government. The Venezuelan political opposition claimed that it was a staged incident to justify further government repression and to divert attention from the country’s real problems. Footage of the event does not provide conclusive evidence. It does, however, show participating soldiers scattering to the four winds. The abiding impression of the Bolivarian armed forces (FANB) was not the one of redoubtable loyalty and bravery purveyed by the government but one of weakness and pusillanimity.

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