BOGOTA, Colombia – Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said Bogotá does not know why US National Security Adviser John Bolton mentioned his country in a note about the possibility of sending 5,000 troops to Colombia amidst the crisis in neighboring Venezuela.
“Regarding the mention of Colombia in the notebook that Mr. John Bolton had in hand, the purpose and reason for this note is unknown,” claimed the Colombian foreign minister.
Carlos Holmes Trujillo said that Bogota maintains the position it has established with the Lima Group members on the situation in Venezuela and “will continue to act politically and diplomatically to create the conditions that will lead to an electoral process that reestablishes the democratic and institutional order in that parents.”
He also noted that “Colombia will continue to engage in permanent dialogue with the United States on all issues of common concern and to cooperate with this friendly nation on bilateral, regional and global issues.”
US National Security Adviser John Bolton was seen on Monday with a yellow notebook with the words “5,000 soldiers in Colombia.”
Bolton called on Jananuary 28 for the Armed Forces of Venezuela to support a peaceful transition of power in the Caribbean nation. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro reacted to this message by saying that if Bolton wants a military solution for Venezuela, he can openly call for a coup.
Maduro also said US President Donald Trump will be responsible for the violence that can take place in Venezuela.
“I name as responsible for any violence that may arise in Venezuela President Donald Trump,” Maduro told national radio and TV.
Earlier, the United States imposed a $7 billion blockade on assets of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA. The sanctions were announced by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
On Monday, Mnuchin ruled that people operating in Venezuela’s oil sector are subject to US sanctions.
“The way to alleviate sanctions for PDVSA is by swift transfer of control to the interim president or a subsequent democratically elected government that is committed to taking concrete and meaningful action to combat corruption,” the Treasury secretary said in a White House statement.
Bolton estimated that the sanctions will cost $11 billion in losses from exports to Venezuela next year.