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Maduro: White House ordered Colombia to kill me

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CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday asserted that the United States had ordered Colombia to assassinate him.

"The White House tasked Bogota with killing Maduro," the Venezuelan president said in a statement broadcast on radio and television. "That's why they call me a dictator, because anything goes against a dictatorship."

He gave no evidence for his accusations. He has previously accused Washington of helping those behind the Aug. 4 drone attack on him in Caracas and of waging economic war on Venezuela.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack he also accused then Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos of being responsible for it.

In Thursday's message he insisted that "God and the people protect me" and said that if anything happened to him the working class must launch a general strike and insurrection.

He did not mention the case of Fernando Alban, the opposition city councilor who died after falling from a window at the headquarters of the SEBIN intelligence agency in Caracas on Monday.

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The government says he committed suicide, while the opposition have accused authorities of foul play. Alban had been detained over his alleged involvement in the drone attack.

While the U.S. has previously denied any involvement in the August attack, it expanded its sanctions on Maduro's inner circle last month, with President Donald Trump warning that, "Every option is on the table with respect to Venezuela."

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