Mystery surrounds foiled ‘plot’ to liberate Venezuela

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Gideon Long in Bogotá and Katrina Manson in Washington

It started with a routine police search on a road in northern Colombia.

Within days the government of Venezuela was claiming it was proof of a foiled plot to “liberate” the country from its socialist rule, with echoes of past failed efforts to overthrow Latin American regimes.

The details of the alleged plot are murky. Officials in Washington deny it even existed. But it comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and Venezuela, as the Trump administration steps up efforts to force President Nicolás Maduro to relinquish power.