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Maduro claims Trump sought to destroy Venezuela, kill him

The leader believes that the outgoing US president symbolizes "sheer hatred, violence and aggression"

BOGOTA, January 11. /TASS/. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has stressed that his US counterpart Donald Trump sought to destroy Venezuela and kill Maduro himself during his presidency.

"Donald Trump’s main goal during [his] four years in power was Venezuela, to destroy us and me. He advocated assassinating me a couple of times," Maduro said during a speech in Caracas.

The leader believes that Trump symbolizes "sheer hatred, violence and aggression in global politics."

The political crisis in Venezuela escalated on January 23, 2019, when Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas. Several nations, including the United States, most of the EU, along with Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him. Incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the United States. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.