Bolton's notes raise questions on troops as pressure builds in Venezuela

Venezuela Abandons Demand That U.S. Diplomats Leave

Venezuela Abandons Demand That U.S. Diplomats Leave

It was not immediately clear what Bolton's notes meant and whether President Donald Trump's administration was seriously considering sending USA troops to Colombia. The White House was conspicuously reluctant to clarify the meaning of the note, and distributed the same brief comment to multiple news agencies: "As the president has said, all options are on the table". The sending of USA troops to Colombia could escalate tensions further since Russian Federation repeatedly warned the United States not to intervene militarily in the Latin American country.

Shanahan told reporters that he hasn't spoken to national security adviser John Bolton about sending troops to Colombia.

The move came after President Trump last week took on Venezuela's leftist authoritarian leader by recognizing Juan Guaidó, the 35-year-old head of the National Assembly, as the country's legitimate head of state.

When asked whether the "all options" remarks included military action, Bolton told reporters in Venezuela on January 24, "I think that speaks for itself".

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Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said the number of USA military personnel in Colombia remained unchanged as part of a pre-existing partnership. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions will help "prevent further diverting of Venezuela's assets by Maduro and preserve these assets for the people of Venezuela". Speaking in English, Maduro told US President Donald Trump: "Hands off Venezuela!".

Bolton held the notepad at a news briefing with reporters to unveil sweeping sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil firm PDVSA, Washington's latest step to pressure Caracas' socialist President Nicolas Maduro to leave office.

Colombia's Foreign Minister Carlos has released a statement denying a report that his government going to provide the United States will military bases so that the latter could launch a possible military invasion in Venezuela.

The Colombian Foreign Ministry later said that it did not know why such a note appeared on Bolton's notebook. Russian Federation has stressed that it supported Maduro as the legitimate president.

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