The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss US national security advisor John Bolton holding a notepad with the words visibly scribbled for all the world to see, “5,000 troops to Colombia”, while he was attending a press conference to announce more sanctions to be imposed on Venezuela.
When the White House was asked to explain what was written on the notepad…the response, “as the president has said, all options are on the table”.
Columbia has refuted media speculation, after Bolton’s notepad trolling, that US troops are amassing on their border with Venezuela.
Via Business Insider…
The US national security adviser, John Bolton, seemed to add weight to the Trump administration’s musings about military action in Venezuela on Monday when he appeared at a White House briefing carrying a legal pad bearing the phrase “5,000 troops to Colombia.”
But the note — a suggestion the US could deploy troops to one of the countries hit hardest by Venezuela’s crises and the mass migration they’ve caused — may have just been part of a ruse to spook Venezuela’s embattled President Nicolás Maduro and undermine the military support he needs to stay in power.
President Donald Trump mentioned a “military option” for Venezuela in August 2017 and reportedly brought it up several times during 2018. Administration officials also met with Venezuelan military officials looking for help to oust Maduro but ultimately rebuffed their inquiries.
But when pressed, Trump administration officials have repeated the refrain about “all options” being on the table.
At the end of 2018, a US Navy hospital ship visited the region, where it assisted many of the Venezuelans who’d fled their homes and settled in Colombia.
Deploying 5,000 troops to Colombia, a staunch US ally, would be a much more dramatic move, but there don’t appear to be any signs that it’s actually about to happen.
Such a deployment would be overseen by US Southern Command, which is responsible for everything south of Mexico.
“Southcom would be aware and tracking any movement,” a US official told Business Insider. Discussions between the White House, the Pentagon, and Southcom about that deployment could take place, but “we’re not seeing anything that these have been occurring,” the official said.
Colombian military officials have responded similarly.
“We have no knowledge of that — you’d have to call” the Americans, a Colombian Defense Ministry source told Karla Zabludovsky, BuzzFeed News’ Latin America correspondent.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.