Tensions between the US and Russia over Venezuela threaten to overcook.
The White House on Friday warned Russia and other countries that supported Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro of sending military forces and equipment into crisis nation.
Washington, which supports opposition leader Juan Guaidó, considers the move a "direct threat to regional security," said national security adviser John Bolton.
"We are strongly against external actors outside the Western Hemisphere against sending military supplies to Venezuela or anywhere in the hemisphere with the intention of introducing or expanding military operations," Bolton said.
"We will see such provocative measures as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region, and we will continue to defend and protect the interests of the United States and our Western Hemisphere partners," he said.
Bolton's statement is the second warning this week after Moscow had sent military "specialists" to the South American nation on March 23.
Several media have reported that two Russian planes with military advisers and up to 1
Moscow's importance was downplayed, and Russian spokesmen said the advisers and supplies were part of a military cooperation agreement with Venezuela.
"The Russian side has clearly the purpose of the arrival of their specialists in Caracas stated. This is not about "military contingents," spokeswoman for Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Saturday.
"The speculation about the conduct of certain" military operations "by Russia in Venezuela is absolutely groundless," she added.
But administrators do not buy it.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan Patrick Michael Shanahan Overnight Defense: White House warns Russia against troops in Venezuela | Maduro to Provide Help Pentagon Surveying Sites for Boundary Wall Pentagon Surveying Sites for New Boundary Wall Segments The Hill's Morning Report – Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition – Trump Will Return to Campaign Phase MORE dismissed the pledges and told reporters on Wednesday: "I'm not sure I always believe what they say."
And President Trump Donald John TrumpDems hammering Nielsen over frontier crisis Ocasio-Cortez responds to "AOC sucks" ch ant: Trump just wants that another woman is "vilified". The conservative business complains about the absence of Trump at the MORE rally on Wednesday, Russia warned Russia against military involvement in the country and said Moscow must "get off the hook" and all options are on the table for dealing with the situation ,
"Earlier administrations allowed this," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "I have a chaos between North Korea and all the problems we have around the world, across the Middle East and Venezuela, inherited … but I will fix it."
Russia, on the other hand, Thursday that the specialists are not threatening and defending their arms trade with Venezuela, has promised Russia to keep its military advisers there as long as Maduro considers it necessary.
The United States and more than 50 other countries have recognized Guaidó, who declared himself President of Venezuela as the country's legal leader in January, but Maduro remains in power, supported by elite and military support Country as well as nations such as Russia and China.
Most residents live in poverty while the nation faces blackouts and lack of food and medicines. Thousands have fled to neighboring countries in the midst of political turmoil.
The government also speculated that it would soon send US troops to the region after Bolton was photographed at a White House press conference in late January and had written a yellow notepad with the inscription "5,000 soldiers to Colombia." ,
Elliott Abrams, Trump's Special Representative for Venezuela, would refuse to suggest military intervention on Friday.
"We have a list of options we have given [SecretaryofState Mike." Pompeo Michael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump says Linda McMahon will resign as Small Business Administrator. Defend Overnight: The White House warns Russia against the troops in Venezuela Maduro has the Red Cross help White House urges Russia to send troops to Venezuela Abrams told reporters.
"There are things we can do economically in terms of sanctions. … It would be a mistake for the Russians to believe that they have a free hand here. They do not do it, "he added.
A military intervention will certainly trigger a fight between the White House and Congress, where the House's Democrats have already made it clear that they would not support such a plan.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel The chairmen of the committee for Eliot Lance EngelHouse demand that the Mueller report be published by April 2nd. Lessons from the US military operations in Kosovo. Omar discusses Shadow Dems with AIPAC MORE .) Last month, US military intervention ruled out saying it was "not an option."
But the Republicans said military support in Venezuela might be necessary.
Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Foreign Affairs Committee Adam Kinzinger Adam Daniel KinzingerBooker, Gabbard is said to have appeared with Colbert The Hills 12:30 report: Cohen back on the hot spot The Hill's Morning Report – Trump says that the race started in 2020 MORE (R-Ill.) Maduro participated in the intervention of Moscow in the Syrian civil war of 2015, which President Bashar Assad held in power.
"We can not let Russia encourage and save a dictator like in Syria," Kinzinger told The Hill. "I think working with our allies and military options we are ready to use is essential, this is our backyard, and we need to defend this with greater intensity than other places." Move under the War Assistance Act, which requires him to notify Congress only, much like the US military intervention in Panama and Grenada.
"We would not declare war in this case, we would prevent people from preventing a legitimate president from taking full power," he added.
and Chairman of the Armed Services Committee of the Senate James Inhofe James (Jim) Mountain InhofeThe Hill's Morning Report – Dems wants to rebuild "Blue Wall". Border wall prepares for defense budget bout Trump's claim to defeat ISIS roil Congress MORE (R-Okla.) Said in February that the military may need to intervene in Venezuela if Russia places weapons there.
Two pages of Emain in a pattern of saber-rattles. When asked if he would speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the military involvement, Trump said on Friday that the two "will probably speak at some point."
"We're looking at Venezuela, Venezuela is a big mess at the moment, electricity is gone, energy is gone, fuel is gone, gasoline is gone, so I'm going to talk to a lot of people, maybe President Putin. "