The Venezuelan government Wednesday released a second video of rightwing extremists Lorent Saleh and Gabriel Valles, which shows them discussing a plan to carry out a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in the Venezuelan city of San Cristobal on the border with Colombia.
“We´re going to administer a huge blow, pow, on the same day… one at an insurance company, another in a parking lot where the trucks that they use to transport oil are held, one, which is emblematic, a political headquarters of the local government and a bank,” states Saleh on the footage.
The video appears to have been recorded during the violent barricades which erupted in February this year. The video shows a smiling Saleh insisting that the uprising on the border between Colombia and Venezuela was “no accident.” He also states that the terrorist network was prepared to carry out a “social cleansing” of the revolutionary groups which support the Venezuelan government.
“They´re easy to get to, shameless and stupid, plus if we mess them up, they (the government) will lose their strength in the street… it´ll be a social cleansing my man,” Sale says in the video.
During the video it becomes increasingly clear that the two men were operating as part of a much wider terrorist network spanning across both Venezuela and Colombia, where the two men were planning the attack, and which counted on significant financial support.
At one point Saleh, who is currently detained by Venezuelan authorities along with Vallas, states that the two had paid over US$8000 for explosives in order to carry out the attacks. The two men had managed to acquire C4, an explosive used principally in military operations.
“Everything is going to be done in San Cristobal, bro. The local government building, the other thing. Bam, bam, bam. Then I´ll get the team right out of San Cristobal and bring them here to Colombia to lay low for two months,” explains Saleh, who is the principal speaker throughout the two conversations.
The video is the second to have been released this week, with a first video having emerged on Monday. Both videos feature the two men participating in a Skype conversation with an undisclosed third speaker on the other end, presumed to be an undercover official for the Venezuelan security forces.
The disclosure has had a significant international impact, with former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe cited as a source of support for the terrorist network several times on the first video.
Uribe suggested to Lorent Saleh´s group, which they call Operation Liberty, that they create groups in every country in South and Central America of the same nature and with the same objectives. “Groups of the extreme right which originate from fascism and terrorism,” stated Venezuelan Minister for Domestic Affairs, Justice and Peace Miguel Rodriguez Torres, who classified the actions planned by the two as “terrorism of a political nature.”
Both Saleh and Valles were deported from Colombia by security forces earlier this month after it was found that they had entered the country using falsified documents.
The two also managed to successfully infiltrate Bogota’s principal “Military School of War” in order to receive training. Both have a long history of participating in extremist rightwing political groups in Venezuela and will now stand trial for at least six different crimes, some of which date as far back as 2010, when they were implicated in violent protests.
Original article by Rachael Boothroyd for TeleSUR English