Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures during a meeting with soldiers at a military base in Caracas. Picture: Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters

Bogota - The Venezuelan government says it arrested three people after discovering a conspiracy to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Intelligence services "have unveiled a new conspiracy plan" that forms part of a push for a coup d'etat, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol wrote on Twitter.

Reverol accused exiled opposition politician Julio Borges of involvement in the plot. He said two former army officers had been arrested for cooperating with "a group of hitmen who entered from Colombia and planned to carry out selective assassinations of political and military leaders."

Supporters of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attend a rally in support of the state oil company PDVSA in downtown Caracas, Venezuela. Picture: Fausto Torrealba/Reuters

The minister also mentioned the arrest of a retired colonel who had been wanted for planning attacks against military installations.

Maduro has accused Colombia of training mercenaries in cooperation with the United States to stage attacks in Venezuela. Bogota has denied the allegations.

dpa