Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro declared on Tuesday that President Donald Trump “approved” his assassination with snipers and offered a $15 million bounty on his head.
“Donald Trump approved my killing, my killing – listen, I am not exaggerating,” Maduro said during his daily broadcast on state television network VTV. “They are trying to move a group of snipers or to buy snipers in Venezuela to kill me, Donald Trump approved it, he has no ethics.”
Maduro went on to claim that he has been the “victim of the most brutal attacks” by the United States government, which he accused of making up “barbarities” about his involvement in rampant corruption and crimes committed by his socialist regime.
“(The United States) put a price of 15 million dollars on my head,” he recalled, a reference to the Trump administration’s filing of charges against him and various other senior Venezuelan officials for their involvement in narcotics trafficking and terrorism.
The United States Department of Justice has officially indicted Venezuela's socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro and regime co-conspirators like Diosdado Cabello for narcoterrorism, money laundering, and other crimes.
— Daniel Di Martino 🇻🇺🇸 (@DanielDiMartino) March 26, 2020
It is not the first time that Maduro has claimed that Trump is at the head of a plot to assassinate him. In October 2018, he said in a similar television address that Trump had passed over the responsibility of killing him to the “oligarchy in Bogotá,” a reference to Colombia’s conservative president and U.S. ally Iván Duque, whose country neighbors Venezuela.
“They have given the order from the White House that Maduro be killed, a task they have given to the oligarchy in Bogotá,” he declared at the time. “The government of Bogotá has been given the task of assassinating me, I denounce it worldwide. They will not even touch a single hair of mine.”
Although Trump has mulled publicly the possibility of military intervention in Venezuela, such plans have never come to fruition and there is no evidence that he has personally ordered Maduro’s killing. The $15 million bounty is for Maduro’s arrest, not his assassination.
In 2015, Maduro similarly accused former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of also plotting his assassination.
“I accuse U.S. Vice President Joe Biden who personally spoke with the presidents and prime ministers about the plan,” he warned. “The imperial power has entered a dangerous phase of desperation and has been talking to governments of the continent to announce the toppling my government.”