CARACAS  - Venezuela’s acting president Nicolas Maduro has accused former US officials Roger Noriega and Otto Reich of plotting to kill him to prevent his victory in next week’s presidential elections. Speaking at a televised campaign event on Saturday, Maduro said the plot also involved “right-wing forces” from El Salvador, which had already dispatched paid assassins to Venezuela to implement the plan. “Their goal is to kill me,” said Maduro, who had been designated by the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez as his heir apparent. “They want to kill me because they know they cannot win free and fair elections.” A presidential election to replace Chavez, who died of cancer last month, will be held on April 14. Maduro said part of the plot also involved sabotaging the nation’s electrical grid. Parts of oil-rich Venezuela suffer from regular power outages, a problem opposition leader Henrique Capriles had seized upon to criticize the socialist government that Chavez led for 14 years until his death on March 5. On Thursday, Maduro also accused the opposition of plotting to sabotage the national power grid to cause a blackout ahead of the election. He repeated the claim on Saturday, adding that he was aware that one of the leaders of Capriles’ Justice First party had met with an employee of the US Embassy in Caracas to discuss plans for “a general blackout” in the state of Bolivar, where most of Venezuela’s electrical power is generated. “They are clearly hatching a conspiracy,” Maduro insisted, adding that the Venezuelan government will consider “an appropriate diplomatic measure.” He did not elaborate.