Venezuelan President Maduro says US-backed enemies of his country have launched an economic war on him. He also claims opposition leaders worked together in an effort to assassinate him and that they tried to overthrow him through violent street demonstrations.
Despite pointing the finger of blame at US President Donald Trump, he still claimed he hoped to meet with Trump face to face. But in 2017 the White House responded to a similar request by saying such a meeting would only take place if the country returned to democracy. Diplomatic relations between Venezuela and the United States have been tense since the now dead socialist President Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999.
Both Chavez and Maduro, his successor, have accused Washington of assassination attempts against them. Meanwhile, Trump has imposed financial sanctions on Venezuela and its state oil company. He has even imposed sanctions on President Maduro's wife and several of his top allies to further increase pressure on the government.
Venezuela also accuses the United States of encouraging its emigration crisis to embarrass Caracas, which has the world's largest proven oil reserves but is in full economic collapse. Pro-government supporters of President Maduro have taken to the streets to protect against American interference after reports that US officials met secretly with Venezuelan military officers to discuss plans to oust Maduro.