Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has dismissed calls for new presidential elections ahead of fresh protests against his leadership.

In a show of defiance, he insisted his victory in polls last spring had been legitimate.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president last week, prompting an escalating power struggle.

Speaking in an interview for a Russian news agency, Mr. Maduro also said he was prepared for talks with the opposition.

Maduro said the talks could be held with the mediation of other countries and he mentioned Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, the Vatican and Russia as potential third parties.

He accused US President Donald Trump of organising his killing, saying he was aware of Trump’s “orders” for the Colombian government and local mafia to carry it out.

He offered no evidence to support the allegation.

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