Seems American officials met with Venezuelan military officers at least three times overseas and listened to their plans, however vague, to kick out President Nicolás Maduro and install a transitional government.
Trump has suggested he was considering military intervention in Venezuela in the past, which boosted Maduro's position within the country by vilifying USA involvement and identifying Trump's motives as wanting to pursue Venezuela's once-rich oil reserves.
"The presidential assassination that was stopped was led by the United States".
United States officials decided against taking action after the meetings, according to The New York Times.
Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza described it as "absolutely unacceptable and unjustifiable that USA government officials participate in meetings to encourage and promote violent actions of extremist with the aim of attacking Venezuelan democracy and national peace".
"You can not lower your guard for even a second, because we will defend the greatest right our homeland has had in all of its history, which is to live in peace", Maduro said at the time, before continuing to condemn the "supremacist and criminal vision of those who govern the United States".
The former commander told the Times at least three factions within the Venezuelan military were plotting against the Maduro government.
On August 4, during the Bolivarian National Armed Forces 81st-anniversary celebrations, two drones packed with C4 exploded in an attempt to assassinate president Maduro, several other government officials and guest.
The Times reported that one such rebel group made initial contact with the USA government through an American Embassy in a European capital city.
The White House responded to the report Times by admitting that it engages in "dialogue with all Venezuelans who demonstrate a desire for democracy [to] bring positive change to a country that has suffered so much under Maduro".
Officials say the White House ultimately declined to back the coup plotters, and the coup never took place.
"If you don't like the idea of the USA talking to the military, then what do you propose?" said Richard Haass, a former top State Department official in the George W. Bush administration who is the president of the Council on Foreign Relations.
From their first meeting held overseas in fall 2017, the diplomat made the assessment that the Venezuelan rebels did not appear to have a detailed plan, but instead were hoping the American government would provide guidance or ideas, the Times reported.
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