WASHINGTON – Trump administration officials claimed on Monday that "all options" – including the use of military force – are on the table, their attempts to take power from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro . And if you believe the Security Advisor's notebook, John Bolton's use of troops in the region may be closer to reality than that.
At a White House press conference, new sanctions against Maduro and Venezuela's state-owned oil company should be described in detail. Bolton was photographed with a yellow note pad labeled "5,000 Soldiers to Colombia," a country that has a border with Venezuela.
The potential security breach was quickly discovered by observers on Twitter after an Associated Press picture from the briefing on NBC and other stores had been published.
"As the president said All options are on the table, "said a White House spokesman when asked if the deployment of troops to Colombia would be considered.
An American official said he had seen nothing to support Bol's notes, a [Reuters reporter tweeted] .
The Trump government took its most aggressive steps to oust Maduro when she officially recognized Juan Guaido, leader of the Venezuelan National Assembly, last week . Only a few hours after Guaido had sworn into office, he was named as interim president of the country.
Guaido leads a multi-party opposition effort to Maduro, who won a controversial election in May 2018 that deems his Venezuelan opponents and other nations, including the US and several Latin American democracies, illegitimate. Major protests in Venezuela have strengthened the urge for Maduro, during whose tenure authoritarian actions against political enemies and an economic crisis driven by the collapse of global oil prices have led.
The announcement of new sanctions in the US followed Maduro's refusal to relinquish his position to Guaido in the face of pressure from the White House. The Trump government hopes that the economic sanctions against Maduro's government and the state-owned oil company will increase their efforts to break the will of the armed forces, whose continued support for Maduro is crucial to maintaining power.
US forces in Venezuela could trigger violence in a country already plagued by ongoing humanitarian crises, experts warn.
"I have to think that there is no real appetite for military intervention in Venezuela in the Trump administration." Geoff Ramsey, a land expert from the Washington bureau for Latin America, a think tank, said Monday.
He told HuffPost The US Government officials say they are "really interested in talking and not necessarily going for a walk." And I think the Maduro regime knows that, and they know that a kind of confrontational rhetoric eventually weakens the US hand. "
" I would like to believe that the foreign policy establishment actually understands that intervening in Venezuela would be an intervention, "said Ramsey." A military option, even if it threatens a military option, is absolutely counterproductive and must be held off at any cost. "
The US has a long tradition of being a military – and to use intelligence services to oust Latin America leader resists. The US was closely linked to a failed coup against socialist President Hugo Chavez in 2002. Chavez died in 2013, Maduro replaced him.
Last week, the Trump administration appointed Elliott Abrams, a former Advisor to Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, as his Special Envoy to Venezuela. Abrams approved the coup attempt by the Bush administration against Chavez according to reports from that period .