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News: International

Bolivia, Ecuador Condemn Helicopter Terrorist Attack in Venezuela

Caracas, June 28, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The governments of Ecuador and Bolivia have condemned Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Venezuela, which saw grenades dropped on the Justice Ministry and shots fired at the Supreme Court from a stolen police helicopter in Caracas. 

The attack was allegedly carried out by Oscar Perez, a pilot and member of the aerial division of Venezuela’s special investigative police force, the CICPC, who used his official credentials to acquire the aircraft from an airbase in the capital. Venezuelan authorities have confirmed that there were no injuries or fatalities registered, despite judges, journalists and workers being present in the buildings at the time.  

In videos published to Perez's Instagram account on the day of the attack, the suspect claims to represent part of a “coalition of military and police officers and civilians” acting against the “imposed impunity and tyranny” of the current “criminal government”. In the footage the alleged attacker can be seen wearing full army uniform, while another masked man in khakis stands behind him, alongside three paintings of army soldiers. 

The assault comes as deadly anti-government protests continue for their 13th week, resulting in 86 deaths to date. Leftist governments in the region decried the attack as an act of right-wing terrorism aimed at bringing down the legitimate government Wednesday. 

“We condemn the armed attacks by the coup-plotting right-wing against the Supreme Court of Justice and Venezuelan democracy,” declared Bolivian President Eva Morales via Twitter. 

The head of state’s sentiments were also echoed by his foreign ministry, which released an official communique calling on political forces in Venezuela to re-initiate dialogue efforts stalled since late 2016 to de-escalate the violence.  

“Bolivia vehemently calls on the international community to forcefully reject this criminal act which is part of an insatiable and reckless conspiracy whose objective is to erode Venezuela’s democratic institutions through violence,” reads the statement 

Likewise, the center-left government of Ecuador condemned the attack in an official statement and called for the “peaceful resolution of conflicts, non-intervention in the internal affairs of countries and the rejection of destabilization attempts”. 

Meanwhile, Caracas has blasted other governments for remaining largely silent with regards to the armed assault. Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada accused several countries of “feigning ignorance” out of support for the right-wing opposition in the country and confirmed that neither Canada, the US or a single country in Europe had issued an official statement.  

“In Europe we have still not received the first reaction. Spain has not even bothered to pick up the phone to condemn this attack… We are still waiting for a reaction from countries of the Organization of American States, Mexico, [and] Argentina,” said the FM.

“How can we believe these countries that defend human rights [one day] and the next they pretend to have dementia?… There is a campaign of hostility against Venezuela and the best example of that is what has happened today, they do not care about Venezuelans,” he added.  

Although the helicopter commandeered by Perez was later found by security forces abandoned on the forest floor in Vargas state Wednesday afternoon, the alleged attacker is still on the run. An Interpol red alert has been requested for his capture, confirmed Justice Minister Nestor Reverol. 

Since going into hiding Perez has received backing from opposition supporters, who flooded his Instagram page to express their gratitude Wednesday. Several commentators labelled the CICPC officer a “hero”. 

Sources in the armed forces have informed Venezuelanalysis that a small number of army soldiers and police were arrested in the wake of the attack for allegedly plotting against the government, though these reports are unconfirmed.  

Published on Jun 28th 2017 at 11.48pm