Venezuela’s embattled President Nicolás Maduro has called Donald Trump’s government a “gang of extremists” and blamed the US for his country’s crisis.
In an interview with the BBC, Maduro said he would not allow humanitarian aid into Venezuela as it was a way for the US to justify an intervention. “They are warmongering in order to take over Venezuela,” he said.
The US and most Western governments have recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president.
Maduro is under growing internal and international pressure to call early presidential elections amid a worsening economic crisis and accusations of widespread corruption and human rights violations.
Meanwhile, Guaidó has called for new anti-government protests later on Tuesday. Relations between the US and Venezuela were already fraught before President Trump’s administration became one of the first to back Guaidó as interim leader.
Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations in response while Trump said the use of military force remained “an option”. (BBC)