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Trump, Colombian mafia conspiring to kill me: Maduro

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a broadcast at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, on January 29, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro says President Donald Trump of the United States and the Colombian mafia are conspiring 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 was giving an interview to Russia's RIA news agency on Wednesday.

Venezuela plunged into another phase of tensions last week after the president of the opposition-led National Assembly, Juan Guaido, declared himself interim president of the country. Washington immediately recognized him as acting president.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump warned American citizens in a posting on Twitter against traveling to Venezuela under the current circumstances.

Trump's tweet came amid speculations of military action by the United States against the Venezuelan government, which prompted opposition from the very people who are against Maduro.

Also, Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton was seen at a news briefing in Washington on Monday holding a notepad that displayed the words “5,000 troops to Colombia.”

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In the interview with RIA, Maduro also reiterated his readiness to hold talks with the opposition, but ruled out the possibility of repeating the presidential election.

He also expressed "pleasure and gratitude" for Russian President Vladimir Putin's help.

Russia, an ally of Caracas, has offered to mediate between the Venezuelan government and opposition and urged Guaido to drop his demand for a snap election.

Moscow rejects allegations of Venezuelan gold transfer

Separately on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed as "fake news" remarks made by Jose Guerra, a member of Venezuela’s National Assembly, that Moscow has tried to transfer 20 tonnes of gold to Russia.

"There is no such information," Peskov said in reply to a question.

Guerra wrote on twitter on Tuesday that a plane had arrived from Moscow for taking 20 tonnes of gold out of the country, without providing any evidence.

Peskov also reiterated that his country had already expressed its willingness to help resolve the political crisis in the Latin American country.

"Russia is prepared to promote a settlement to the political situation in Venezuela without meddling in that country’s internal affairs," he said, adding, "Russia is categorically against any meddling by third countries in Venezuela’s internal affairs."

Venezuela, which sits atop the world’s largest oil reserves, has been struggling with a worsening economic situation over the past years, which has caused civilian cross-border journeys into Colombia to purchase basic commodities and foodstuffs.

Maduro has accused the US of being behind Venezuela’s economic crisis, saying Washington is orchestrating attempts to topple him as part of a wider offensive against Latin American leaders defying the US hegemony.

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