‘5,000 troops to Colombia’: Did John Bolton’s White House notes gaffe reveal plan for US military intervention in Venezuela – after Trump freezes Maduro’s access to oil cash and declares ‘all options are on the table’

Tuesday, January 29, 2019
By Paul Martin

National Security Advisor John Bolton was holding a notepad that included a handwritten line: 5,000 troops to Colombia
He was speaking to White House reporters regarding the crisis in Venezuela where the US now recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido
Bolton would not rule out the use of force stating that President Trump considers ‘that all options are on the table’
The US also announced sanctions against the state-owned oil company PDVSA in an effort to keep cash out of the hands of Nicolas Maduro

29 January 2019

National Security Advisor John Bolton has been photographed Monday holding a notepad that included the handwritten line: ‘5,000 troops to Colombia.’

Bolton spoke to White House reporters while holding the yellow notepad and discussing the crisis in Venezuela, where the US now recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president.

The United States also announced sanctions against Venezuela’s state oil company Monday in a coordinated effort with the main opposition leader to cripple embattled President Nicolas Maduro’s power base.

It was not until after the briefing with Bolton that observers spotted the black scrawl.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a US official said ‘we are not seeing anything that would support’ a potential troop deployment to Colombia, which neighbors Venezuela.

The Pentagon referred a query back to the White House.

During the briefing, Bolton would not rule out use of US troops in Venezuela calling for security forces ‘to accept the peaceful, democratic and constitutional transfer of power.’

‘We’ve seen Venezuelan official and military personnel heeding this call,’ he added, citing the defection this weekend of the country’s military attache to Washington.

Bolton also would not rule out the use of US troop

‘The president has made it clear on this matter that all options are on the table,’ he said.

The US military’s Southern Command did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Bolton’s notepad also had the line: ‘Afghanistan — welcome the talks’ — a reference to a potential breakthrough in discussions with the Taliban.

The sanctions against state-owned PDVSA were presented as a way of preventing the leftist strongman from looting the coffers in his economically ruined country before he is replaced by the man Washington says is the rightful interim president — opposition leader Juan Guaido.

An angry Maduro accused the United States of trying to ‘steal Citgo’ and pledged to file legal action over the new sanctions.

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