President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton on Friday sent a strong message to Russia: do not get involved in the chaos taking place in Venezuela. If Vladimir Putin decides to establish or expand any kind of operations there, the United States would consider the move to be a "direct threat" to international peace, Reuters reported.
"We strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations," Bolton said in a statement. "We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region."
Bolton's declaration comes after Russia sent "specialists" to Venezuela under a military cooperation deal. Putin ignored President Trump's calls to remove all military personal from the country, insisting that them being there posed no threat to the region's stability.
According to Bolton, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would "use of foreign military personnel in his attempt to remain in power, including the introduction of Russian military personnel and equipment into Venezuela."
The United States has encouraged Maduro to step down to make way for Juan Guaido, the interim president recognized by western democracies.
"Maduro will only use this military support to further repress the people of Venezuela; perpetuate the economic crisis that has destroyed Venezuela's economy; and endanger regional stability," Bolton said. “We will continue to defend and protect the interests of the United States, and those of our partners in the Western Hemisphere, which are rooted in a shared respect for liberty, security, and the rule of law."