[News] Who Is John Bolton, Trump's Man Behind Plot Against Venezuela

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Fri Dec 14 10:32:39 EST 2018


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  Who Is John Bolton, Trump's Man Behind Plot Against Venezuela

13 December 2018
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In a press conference, Wednesday Maduro accused John Bolton, United 
States President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, of plotting 
to kill him. Bolton, a conservative, is a strong proponent of unilateral 
U.S. foreign policy and a notorious war hawk who has shown himself to be 
remarkably boorish and tactless for a diplomat.

"Mr. John Bolton has been assigned, once again, as the chief of a plot 
to fill Venezuela with violence and to seek a foreign military 
intervention," Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said in a news 
conference Wednesday.

Maduro added that Bolton was coordinating the training of mercenaries in 
military bases in Colombia and the U.S. His comments came just days 
after Russian bombers landed in Venezuela to carry out joint military 
exercises.

Bolton worked under Ronald Reagan and was the former United Nations 
ambassador under George W. Bush, though he expressed contempt for the 
organization, as he famously said, “there is no U.N. There is an 
international community that occasionally can be led by the only real 
power left in the world, and that’s the United States, when it suits our 
interests.”

Bolton has advocated for the U.S. to pull out of the Iranian Nuclear 
Deal, which the country did shortly after Bolton was appointed earlier 
this year. He has also referred to Palestine as a “so-called state,” 
saying that it does not meet the requirements for a legitimate nation.

His view of democratically elected, progressive governments in Latin 
America --  specifically Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, which he’s 
referred to as a "troika of tyranny" -- is very much in line with his 
unilateral, U.S. supremacy worldview.

“Under this administration,” he said, “we will no longer appease 
dictators and despots near our shores in this hemisphere. We will not 
reward firing squads, torturers, and murderers."

However, Bolton has praised Brazil’s far-right president-elect Jair 
Bolsonaro, who has also been an outspoken supporter of the Chilean 
dictatorship of Pinochet, saying his election was a "positive sign" for 
the region.

In a speech at Miami Dade College's Freedom Tower, Bolton said that "the 
recent elections of like-minded leaders in key countries, including Ivan 
Duque in Colombia, and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil are positive signs for 
the future of the region, and demonstrate a growing regional commitment 
to free-market principles and open, transparent, and accountable 
governance."

The rise of the right-wing in Latin America has been imminent, as the 
U.S. government has increased its attacks on progressive leftist 
governments in the region.

The Trump administration has levied several rounds of sanctions against 
Venezuela since 2017.

Trump said last year that "the military option" was on the table with 
regards to Venezuela, fueling Maduro's contention that Washington seeks 
to overthrow his leftist government, which U.S. officials deny.

Bolton is a longtime opponent of leftist governments in Latin America 
and he announced the most recent sanctions against Venezuela last month 
as part of a pledge to crack down on Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

Bolton said "this is not a time to back away. It’s a time to increase 
the pressure, not reduce it." Bolton also announced new sanctions 
against Venezuela and Cuba, including a ban on U.S. citizens that are 
trading with Venezuelan gold.

Though the U.S. considers Venezuela a dictatorship, Maduro’s accusations 
against Bolton come after democratic, municipal elections across the 
country, in which the governing United Socialist Party on Sunday won the 
majority of seats. The United States embassy in Caracas made several 
public statements through its Twitter account ahead of the 
elections that clearly showed its rejection of the elections 
and its support for the opposition and anti-democratic factions in the 
country who have refused to participate in more than six elections over 
the past 18 months.

“Our message to the world is: it’s time to defend Venezuela!” Maduro 
said. “Venezuela will not be a victim of a neo-fascist aggression.”

“We will not retreat, we will not be brought to our knees, we will not 
give up. We will fight and we will guarantee Venezuela peace … whatever 
the price."

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