Nicolas Maduro said he would defeat a "crazed minority" determined to destabilise the country in his first public comment since Guaido returned to the country.

Maduro called on supporters to attend "anti-imperialist" demonstrations on March 9, coinciding with an opposition march announced by Guaido.

He expressed defiance towards opposition forces, belittling a "minority of opportunists and cowards" and vowing to "stop them in their tracks".

"The crazed minority continues in their bitterness. We are going to defeat them, be absolutely sure," said Maduro.

"We are on the right side of history," he added, using the same words previously used by Guaido referring to the opposition.

The president says Venezuela is a victim of a US-led economic war and accuses Guaido of leading a coup orchestrated by the American government. He has vowed the opposition leader will "face justice".

Maduro's vice president, Delcy Rodriguez, told Russian state media Guaido is "trying to seize power" upon the "direct order" of Washington.

The US is considering imposing new sanctions on Venezuela to pressure Maduro's government to give up power, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said.

"We're looking at new sanctions, new measures to tighten our grip on Maduro's financial wherewithal, to deny his regime the money that they need to stay in power," Bolton told Fox Business Network.

Maduro has described opposition to his rule as an attempted coup by the US and its allies.
sourc:aljazeera