On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, John Bolton sent a resounding message to Russia.
“Russia needs to get out” of Venezuela.
This echoed President Donald Trump’s sentiments about Russia’s recent deployment of 100 troops to help out the politically troubled Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro.
This is just the latest drama in the recent Presidential crisis Venezuela is going through. Since Juan Guaidó was declared interim president of Venezuela, the country has been mired in political conflict both domestically and abroad.
Now superpowers like the U.S. and Russia are picking their respective sides, with the U.S. backing Guaidó and Russia supporting the incumbent Maduro.
The political crisis dialed up another level this past Saturday when Russian air force planes landed right outside of Caracas with about 100 Russian troops. According to certain reports, cyber experts were present among the “special forces” that Russia sent.
Indeed, Russia’s move is geopolitical in nature, given the country’s multi-billion dollar investments in Venezuela.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described Russia’s move as “unconstructive” and is prepared to take harsher actions against Venezuela should Russia continue agitating in Venezuela.
Venezuela, whose socialist style of central planning has collapsed its economy, has garnered international attention over the past five years.
The current Trump administration has had its eye on the South American country’s political crisis during the past few years. In response to the country’s decaying state and foreign involvement from superpowers like China and Russia, the U.S. has placed stiffer sanctions on Venezuela.
Donald Trump was elected on a platform emphasizing foreign restraint. However, neoconservatives in the Trump administration like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo have swayed Trump into taking tougher action on Venezuela.
Although a military intervention seems unlikely at the moment, the path the Trump administration is taking with regards to Venezuela indicates that some heavy-handed aspects of previous neoconservative administrations remain intact.