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Venezuela's Maduro skips UN after 'threats'

President says he scrapped plan to travel to New York after receiving intelligence that his life was in danger.

Last Modified: 26 Sep 2013 07:00
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Nicolas Maduro, left, said he received threats during layover in Vancouver after visiting China [Reuters]

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said he cancelled his plan to take part in the UN General Assembly in New York after purported threats to his life.

I decided then and there to continue back to Caracas and drop the New York trip to protect a key goal: safeguarding my physical integrity, protecting my life.

Nicolas Maduro, Venezuelan President

Maduro, just back from a visit to China, said on Wednesday that on a layover in Vancouver he received intelligence on what he said were "two highly serious provocations", which prompted him to scrap his UN trip.

"When I got into Vancouver I evaluated the intelligence which we received from several sources. I decided then and there to continue back to Caracas and drop the New York trip to protect a key goal: safeguarding my physical integrity, protecting my life," Maduro told local media.

One of the alleged provocations "had been planned against my physical integrity" and another could have involved violence in New York, the leading face of Latin America's left said.

Venezuela is the region's closest ally of Communist Cuba.

Maduro earlier this month claimed the White House is plotting the "collapse" of his government next month by sabotaging food, electricity and fuel supplies.

Maduro's predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, also made regular claims about several alleged US plots to kill him.

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