Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said in a televised speech on Thursday that troops had “captured 39 deserters trying to enter by the Colombian border."
He said the detainees were “part of the general scheme" to overthrow Maduro, but did not provide further details
In an incident earlier this month, a group of US-backed mercenaries tried to intrude into the northern state of La Guaira using high-speed boats, but Venezuelan authorities foiled the attack, which had been launched from Colombia.
They killed eight of the armed men and arrestedtwo others.
Among the detainees are two former US troops, Luke Denman, and Airan Berry, who have been imprisoned and charged with "terrorism, conspiracy, illicit trafficking of weapons of war and (criminal) association."