Venezuela asks US to extradite suspect in alleged drone attack

Venezuela asks US to extradite suspect in alleged drone attack

The government of Venezuela is asking the U.S. to extradite a Miami resident it alleges may be involved in a purported drone attack against its president, Nicolás Maduro.

Tarek William Saab, Venezuela’s attorney general, said Wednesday that he had met with the U.S. diplomatic envoy in Caracas to begin the process of extraditing Osman Delgado Tabosky.

Saab said he “expects full cooperation” from the United States.

Six people were arrested Sunday in connection with the alleged attack, and Saab claimed 19 more people were involved in the incident.

Maduro also called for Delgado Tabosky’s extradition during a Sunday address, accusing him of being the mastermind and calling him a “coward.”

“He must face justice,” Maduro said. “We have to get the U.S. government to turn over this assassin to us.”

Delgado Tabosky is reportedly the son of a wealthy Venezuelan entrepreneur.

Maduro claims that the Saturday incident — in which two drones were allegedly strapped with bombs and flown toward a stage from which he was giving a nationally televised address — was an assassination attempt and a terrorist act.

Maduro has said that several of the attackers live in Florida, while also suggesting former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos played a role in the incident.

Venezuela has requested Delgado Tabosky’s extradition before, most recently when the government accused him of being connected to an attack on a military base in 2017.

Maduro has also regularly accused the U.S. of seeking to destabilize his government or oust him from power.

John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, on Sunday denied any U.S. involvement in the drone incident.

"I can say unequivocally there is no U.S. government involvement in this at all," Bolton told "Fox News Sunday."

Bolton also questioned whether the incident had been drummed up by the Maduro government as a pretext to crack down on opposition groups.

The State Department on Wednesday condemned the “political violence.”

“The United States denies any involvement in this incident and will investigate illegal activity within its borders if provided credible, prosecutable evidence,” a department spokesperson told The Hill in an email.