Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (Photo Credit: Matias Delacroix)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:10 P.M.) – The leadership of the Venezuelan Army stated that eight mercenaries who had infiltrated the country from Colombia were arrested with the aim of toppling the government and assassinating President Nicholas Maduro.

“Maritime units were able to discover and detain eight mercenary terrorists in the evening,” the Venezuelan Army said in a statement.

The Venezuelan authorities have indicated that, to date, a total of 45 mercenaries have been arrested in the “attempted invasion.”

Among the detainees were two U.S. citizens, whose official documents were shown on Venezuelan television.

During their interrogation, a captured U.S. mercenary said that he and his companions had to control the airport in order for Maduro to be transferred from there to the United States.

Earlier, the Venezuelan National Armed Forces said that they had discovered three boats of the Colombian Navy carrying weapons while moored on the Venezuelan coast.

Prior to that, the Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Riverol said, in a televised speech: “On May 3, a group of mercenary terrorists from Colombia attempted to carry out an invasion by sea with the aim of launching terrorist attacks in the country and assassinating leaders of the Venezuelan government … and carrying out a coup against power.”

To date, the U.S. authorities have denied having any role in these attempted incursions, while the Venezuelan government has repeatedly accused of Washington of orchestrating these coups.