National Security Adviser John Bolton’s notes on “5,000 troops to Colombia” sparked speculation about the Trump administration’s response to the crisis in Venezuela where opposition leader Juan Guaidó is discussing using military force to oust President Nicolas Maduro, Business Insider reports.
Bolton was holding his notepad in clear view during a press conference where he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced sanctions on Venezuela. The words, “5,000 troops to Colombia” were scrawled across the top of the front page.
“As the president has said, all options are on the table,” a White House spokesman told BI. Additionally, a White House source told Fox News the Trump administration is considering positioning U.S. military forces in Colombia in case they are needed.
The U.S. last week backed Guaidó, along with Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru. Criticism of Maduro has grown in recent years as his government has sidelined the National Assembly, held widely-questioned elections and overseen an economic crisis that has forced millions of Venezuelans to flee, mostly to other South American countries.
Maduro later said he was breaking diplomatic relations, ordering U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela.
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