Caracas/Moscow — Venezuela’s socialist leader Nicolas Maduro accused US President Donald Trump of ordering his assassination while his main global backer Russia called on Wednesday for mediation in a stand-off deepening geopolitical splits. The fight to control Venezuela, which has the world’s largest oil reserves, has intensified with new US sanctions and legal moves that may bring the arrest of opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido. In an interview with Moscow’s RIA news agency, Maduro, 56, facing the biggest challenge to his rule since replacing Hugo Chavez six years ago, said Trump had ordered neighbouring Colombia to murder him. “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,” Maduro said, reprising a constant accusation of his and Chavez’s over the years. Bogota and Washington have routinely denied that, while foes say Maduro uses such accusations as a smokescreen ...

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