Embattled Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro is accusing President Donald Trump of orchestrating his assassination, as he attempts to build political support to remain in power.
In an interview with RIA — a Russian state-run news agency — on Wednesday, Maduro claimed that Trump has asked the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to assassinate him.
“Donald Trump has without doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me,” Maduro said according to Reuters. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Declines To Pick Sides In Venezuela Fight As Democratic Socialists Demand She Resist ‘American Imperialism’)
On Wednesday morning, Trump announced new sanctions on the Maduro regime, targeting the country’s vast oil reserves, while also warning Americans not to travel to the country.
“Maduro willing to negotiate with opposition in Venezuela following U.S. sanctions and the cutting off of oil revenues,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “[Juan] Guaido is being targeted by Venezuelan Supreme Court. Massive protest expected today. Americans should not travel to Venezuela until further notice.”
Maduro and the Venezuelan Supreme Court targeted Guaido on Tuesday by freezing his bank account and imposing a travel ban on the 35-year-old opposition leader. (RELATED: John Bolton’s Notepad Raises Eyebrows Across South America)
Maduro has aggressively cracked down on dissent since the U.S. and several other countries recognized Guaido as the country’s rightful president. At least 20 protesters were reportedly killed by pro-Maduro forces the day after the United States called for him to step down.