Is the US considering military action in Venezuela?


Kaden Smart, Section Editor

Recently a picture of national security advisor John Bolton’s notepad was taken during a White House briefing, which may have revealed a plan for US military intervention in Venezuela.


Bolton’s notepad had a line that read “5,000 troops to Columbia”, hinting at a large possible military deployment to intervene in the current crisis. Columbia is Venezuela’s neighboring country. When questioned about the note pad the White House stated that “all options are on the table”, which could include the noted military deployment.


Venezuela is a socialist state and has been in a crisis for the last few years, including food and medicine shortages, rioting and inflation that is reaching upwards of 100,000%. The country is divided against the current leader, president Maduro and the new self proclaimed president, Juan Guaidó.


Recently president Maduro of Venezuela stated that he was cutting all ties with the United States. This action was taken in response to President Trump recognizing Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader. Juan Guaidó has vast public support by the citizens of Venezuela.


Maduro has since rescinded that order after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered US officials to stay.


President Trump’s office has also stated that any targeting or intimidating move against American officials in Venezuela or Juan Guaidó will result in a “significant response”.


Russia has repeatedly supported Maduro and has claimed that they have strategic ties with Venezuela. Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters that US military intervention would be “catastrophic”. China, Turkey, Cuba, Iran and others have also shown support for Maduro.


Maduro recently claimed that any American intervention could result in a Vietnam style war from the Venezuelan military. One of the biggest problems facing both Maduro and Guaidó is the support of their countries military. Maduro has been seen repeatedly with the countries military, giving speeches and meeting with officers and other officials. Juan Guaidó has also stated that he has met with military officials in an attempt to have their support in removing Maduro from power.


So what does John Bolton’s notepad mean? Fox News reported that sources in the White House are planning on prepositioning troops in Columbia in case a situation arises where they are needed.


The last time the US invaded a South American country was in 1989 in the invasion of Panama. If the US were to invade, it would most likely be to remove Maduro from power which could escalate and lead to a long term occupation to ensure the handing over of power.


Juan Guaidó has stated that he won’t rule out US intervention if the situation escalates.


Along with comparing an invasion of Venezuela to Vietnam, Maduro also compared it to the US invasion of Iraq, claiming that the US would first go after their countries lucrative oil supply like the invasion of Iraq. This was most likely to get support against US intervention among his people and military.


The possible US intervention is getting support too. Marco Rubio, a popular Republican Senator from Florida recently stated that there’s a “very strong argument” for military action in Venezuela. Luis Almagro works as the secretary general for the Organization of American States also said that military intervention shouldn’t be ruled out.


Military action isn’t out of the question at this point. While the world is hoping for a peaceful end to the Venezuelan crisis, there are many opportunities for it to fall apart in violence. History has shown that the US isn’t afraid of using military action, only time will tell if Venezuela will be the next.