Three Venezuelan air force generals accused of plotting a coup against the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro have been arrested.
The unidentified generals were in contact with opposition politicians and “were trying to get the Air Force to rise up against the legitimately elected government,” Maduro said on Tuesday, in a meeting of South American foreign ministers.
“This group that was captured has direct links with sectors of the opposition and they were saying that this week was the decisive week,” Maduro said.
The disclosure comes after more than six weeks of street protests that have left at least 34 dead.
The generals have been summoned before a court martial, Maduro said, adding that the plot was uncovered because other officers came forward to say they were being recruited.
Asked for details about the generals, a senior source told AFP that the information was “being handled only through Maduro’s office”.
It is the first time in 15 years of socialist government that generals had been arrested for alleged coup plotting, said military expert Fernando Falcon, a retired lieutenant colonel.