Bolton On Venezuela: All Options Are On The Table

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Posted: Apr 30, 2019 5:00 PM
Bolton On Venezuela: All Options Are On The Table

Source: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Things continue to intensify in Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro's people run over opposition protestors with armed vehicles and spray crowds with live ammunition. National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday said "all options are on the table" as far as United States' intervention goes, The Hill reported.

“We want as our principle objective the peaceful transfer of power, but I will say again as the president has said from the outset ... all options are on the table,” Bolton said. "Over 40 people have been killed by the Maduro regime in the course of these protests."

The Western hemisphere recognizes Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate president, despite dictator Nicolas Maduro's continued reign.

“We recognize Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim president of Venezuela. And just as it's not a coup when the president of the United States gives an order to the Department of Defense, it's not a coup for Juan Guaidó to try and take command of the Venezuelan military.”

According to Bolton, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino; Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice President Maikel Moreno Pérez; and  Venezuela’s Directorate General of Military Counter-Intelligence Commander Ivan Rafael Hernandez Dala previously said Maduro needed to be ousted. They supported Guaidó as the country's replacement.

“All agreed that Maduro had to go. They need to be able to act this afternoon or this evening to help bring other military forces to the side of the interim president,” Bolton said. “We think it’s still very important for key figures in the regime who have been talking to the opposition over these last three months to make good on their commitments to achieve the peaceful transfer of power."

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The balance of power depends on Venezuelan's other top military leaders taking a firm stand in making sure Guaidó is put in power. This has been a top priority of the Trump administration.  

“It’s a very delicate moment,” Bolton said. “I want to stress again that the president wants to see a peaceful transfer of power from Maduro to Guaidó. The possibility still exists if enough figures depart from the regime and support the opposition and that’s what we’d like to see.”