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February 21, 2019

Venezuela President calls Trump's government 'gang of extremists'

VenezuelaPresident Nicolus Maduro
VenezuelaPresident Nicolus Maduro

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 to force Maduro out of the government.

Maduro took office in 2013 and was re-elected to a second term last year but the elections were controversial with many opposition candidates barred from running or jailed, and claims of vote-rigging.

Head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Guaidó declared himself president on 23 January, saying the constitution allowed him to assume power temporarily when the president was deemed illegitimate.

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