Venezuela's Maduro claims Trump tried to have him killed by the Colombian government and mafia

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Venezuela MaduroVenezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a news conference at Milaflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, on January 25, 2019.REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

  • Venezuela's authoritarian leader Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday claimed President Trump tried to have him killed.
  • Maduro said Trump has "without a doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me."
  • Maduro faces mounting domestic and international pressure to step down, but the situation in Venezuela is complicated and its future is uncertain.

Venezuela's embattled socialist leader Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday once again claimed President Donald Trump has tried to have him killed.

"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," he told Russian state media, according to Reuters.

This is not the first time Maduro has made such a claim, but it comes as he faces increasing international pressure to step down amid a popular uprising against his disastrous rule.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.

Read more: Meet Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela who's challenging Nicolas Maduro for power

Last week, National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president of Venezuela in defiance of Maduro as protests occurred nationwide. The US government and allies, including Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, have all since recognized Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate leader.

The Latin American country has been consumed by chaos in recent years as people have flooded the streets in anger over Maduro's policies, which have driven the country into economic collapse. Venezuelans have faced hyperinflation and starvation as pro-government forces have killed demonstrators.

Read more: Trump is decrying Maduro's authoritarianism in Venezuela as he simultaneously embraces the region's newest strongman in Brazil

The Trump administration has floated the possibility of the use of military force to oust Maduro, and earlier this week imposed new economic sanctions on his authoritarian government. Subsequently, Venezuela's Supreme Court imposed a travel ban on Guaidó and froze his assets, which appeared to be a response to the new sanctions.

The court, which like most aspects of Venezuela's government remains under Maduro's control, also warned prosecutors could investigate Guaidó.

Maduro continues to enjoy the support of Venezuela's military, as well as China and Russia, which continues to give him leverage as he desperately vies to hold onto power.

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