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Bolton's Notes Show US Troop Deployment An Option on Venezuela.

Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- US National Security Adviser John Bolton seemed to be broadcasting big plans for the regime-change operation in Venezuela when he was photographed with a yellow legal pad on which he'd scrawled "5,000 troops to Colombia".

The national security adviser appeared to disclose confidential notes written on a yellow pad that included a plan to send troops to Colombia amid escalating tensions with Venezuela, World News reported.

During a White House press briefing meant to detail new sanctions on President Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela's state-owned oil and gas company, Bolton was photographed holding a yellow legal pad that read, "5,000 troops to Colombia", a country sharing a border with Venezuela.

Scrawled in tight print at the top of the cover page were two items: "Afghanistan -> Welcome the Talks", an apparent reference to ongoing peace negotiations with the Taliban, and "5,000 troops to Colombia".

The potential security breach was quickly spotted by observers on Twitter after an Associated Press picture from the briefing was published atop stories at several outlets.

Asked about the notepad, a White House spokesperson stated that "as the president has said, all options are on the table". But, Pentagon officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, stressed that the Defense Department hadn't received any orders.

It is not clear whether the disclosure of Bolton's notes was the result of a mishap or an intentional decision.

The Donald Trump administration took its most aggressive steps to help topple Maduro from office last week when it officially recognized Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president, just hours after the opposition leader swore himself into the office.

Experts have warned that use of US military force in Venezuela could spark an outbreak of violence in a country already plagued by ongoing humanitarian crises.

Washington has a long history of using its military and intelligence services to try to oust Latin American leaders it opposes. The US was closely linked to a failed coup against President Hugo Chavez in 2002.

A report by AP claimed that Trump actually considered invading Venezuela outright to overthrow Maduro. The American president reportedly discussed this issue in August 2017 with then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson and then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

Another report, by The New York Times, said that the Trump administration was involved in talks with a group of Venezuelan officers plotting to overthrow Maduro for about a year.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Geographic Code:3COLO
Date:Jan 29, 2019
Words:422
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