Maduro skips UN attendance due to suspicion of threats against him

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro (Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
The Venezuelan president skipped his planned speech at Wednesday’s UN General Assembly in New York and returned home to Caracas instead. That change of schedule was attributed to plans for “provocations” against him, according to the president.

Nicolas Maduro had been scheduled to speak at the UN at 3pm local time Wednesday, but was removed as a participant in the day’s debates. During comments made to media the Venezuelan leader indicated that the decision not to attend the UN event was due to indeterminate threats against him.

“While in Vancouver I decided not to attend the UN as I must protect my life, and was alert to provocations,”said Maduro.

The Latin American leader further indicated that the unspecified threats were mounted by former US ambassador to Venezuela, Otto Reich, along with Roger Noriega, the former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and Luis Posada Carriles, a former CIA agent and infamous figure throughout Cuba and Venezuela.

The Latin American head of state did not elaborate further on the reason for those suspicions.

President Maduro headed directly to Venezuela following his trip to China, where he had been paying his first official visit since taking office in April.

Arriving in our beloved country, the sacred land of Venezuela, the birthplace of two giants, Bolivar and Chavez. I’m proud to be Venezuelan Bolivarian,” Maduro wrote on his Twitter account late Tuesday.

Maduro also said on Twitter that he had a “full agenda” for Wednesday, detailing his schedule in Venezuela. While in China, Maduro and members of his delegation signed 24 agreements consolidating economic and cultural ties between the two countries.