White House divided on Venezuela? Major crisis in Trump administration

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 6, 2019 – A recent publication by The Hill newspaper claims that the events in Venezuela were a challenge for the administration of US President Donald Trump.

According to the article, the US leader and his National Security adviser, John Bolton, developed a tense relationship due to divergences of opinion about a possible military intervention in Venezuela.

The author cites the example in which Trump claimed that US influence on the formation of foreign state institutions ended, calling for the end of the war in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of troops from Syria. In contrast, Bolton tries to persuade the country’s leader to use force.

For Paul Pozner, an expert on Venezuelan affairs at Clark University, Trump prefers to join a position that strengthens his position in the US, and interference in Venezuela will have a negative impact on it.

“The administration is very divided,” Posner, told The Hill. “Trump likes Bolton’s rhetoric, but I don’t think he’s interested in intervening in Venezuela.”

The president tends to “adopt positions he thinks will help him politically at home,” Posner added. “He’s not going to pull the trigger.”

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But much of what the White House has been saying on Venezuela has been influenced by Bolton, according to William LeoGrande, a professor at American University who specializes in U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America.

If the adviser’s position does not coincide with the president’s decision, he [Bolton] will not support the United States’ inaction in the Venezuelan crisis and find reasons for a military invasion. In that case, according to Pozner, Trump will retreat and intervention will take place.

“I think there’s no doubt that John Bolton has been leading this policy both publicly and, I suspect, in private,” LeoGrande said. “What little Trump has said about Venezuela has been straight out of Bolton’s playbook.”

On April 30, opposition leader Juan Guaidó, along with his supporters, attempted a coup in Venezuela, but failed and began a process of investigation.

The crisis in the Caribbean country has been worsening since January, when the opposition MP has declared himself interim president of Venezuela, supported by the US and several countries, while current Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is supported by Russia, China, Turkey, Cuba and other states.

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