The Trump administration recognises Juan Guaido as the interim leader of Venezuela. The recognition is interpreted as a challenge to socialist President Nicolas Maduro who has accused the White House of planning a coup against him. Trump has revealed “all options are on the table” and has since expanded sanctions against Maduro’s government and the country’s state-owned oil company, according to Newsweek.
While sanctions were announced last month, it was noticed that White House national security advisor John Bolton held a notepad with the phrase “5,000 troops to Colombia” written on it.
Trump has since responded to a question about if he planned to send troops to Colombia with “you’ll see”.
The President made the remark after meeting with Colombian President Ivan Duque at the White House.
The country’s capital, Bogota, has taken in swathes of Venezuelans fleeing deteriorating economic conditions as Maduro has rejected any foreign aid at the border, claiming it to be part of the plan to get rid of him.
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The city is keen to unseat Maduro and has been a leading ally of the US and Latin America.
It was during this crisis that Mr Guaido declared himself the acting president in January which most Latin American states have recognised.
Bolivia, Cuba and El Salvador are set to get a new anti-Maduro president in June.
However Maduro has received backing from Belarus, Cambodia, China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Serbia, Syria and Turkey.
While Guaido is endorsed by the US, Canada, most of the EU, Australia, Israel and Morocco.
Moscow has been most vocal in the criticism of the US’s handling of the crisis in Caracas which received Russian jets in a show of solidarity.
Maduro has rallied the military which continues to support him amid US threats.
The US has tried for decades to suppress leftist political forces across Latin America but has portrayed its most recent attempt as a humanitarian act.