By Beyza Binnur Donmez
ANKARA (AA) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro asked Americans for support to avoid a “new Vietnam” in a video message Wednesday.
"I want to send a message to the people of the U.S. to alert them to the campaign of the media, communication, and psychological war that the international media are developing, especially the U.S. media against Venezuela," said Maduro. “I ask for the support of people of the United States so that there is not a new Vietnam.
“They [the U.S.] want to put their hands on our oil like they did in Iraq, like they did in Libya,” Maduro said, referring to fact that Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves.
Earlier Wednesday, Maduro said he is ready to negotiate with self-declared president Juan Guaido in an interview with Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
“Maduro willing to negotiate with opposition in Venezuela following U.S. sanctions and the cutting off of oil revenues. Guaido is being targeted by Venezuelan Supreme Court. Massive protest expected today. Americans should not travel to Venezuela until further notice," U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted.
The U.S. ordered the freezing of assets belonging to Venezuela’s national oil company, PDVSA, and prohibited, with a few exceptions, American citizens and companies from carrying out business with it.
Venezuela’s Supreme Court barred Guaido from leaving the country and ordered a freeze on his financial assets.
Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10 when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycott by the opposition.
Last week, Guaido, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly, declared himself president, a move immediately supported by Trump.
Maduro quickly shot back, cutting off diplomatic relations with Washington and giving U.S. diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.
He has repeatedly lashed out at the U.S., saying Washington is waging an economic war against him and his government amid a sweeping sanctions campaign.
Brazil and the Organization of American States recognized Guaido as Venezuela's leader prior to his formal announcement. Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama and Paraguay have followed suit.
Bolivia and Mexico continue to recognize Maduro. Several South American countries, Russia, Turkey, China, and Iran have also expressed solidarity with Maduro.