Bolton warns of ‘significant response’ to any threat against US diplomats in Venezuela

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National security adviser John Bolton on Sunday warned of a “significant response” to any violence or intimidation against U.S. diplomats in Venezuela or the country’s current government.

“Any violence and intimidation against U.S. diplomatic personnel, Venezuela’s democratic leader, Juan Guiado [sic], or the National Assembly itself would represent a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response,” Bolton tweeted.

Bolton in an earlier tweet said that Cuba’s “support and control” over Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s military forces are “well known.”

{mosads}A handful of countries, led by the United States, last week recognized Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president.

In response, Maduro, whose election the U.S. has declared illegitimate, announced that he was cutting off diplomatic relations with the United States and ordered American diplomats in the country to leave within 72 hours. He also ordered Venezuelan diplomats out of the U.S.

But late Saturday, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry reportedly issued a statement suspending the expulsions. According to The Associated Press, it offered 30 days to negotiate a “U.S. interests office” in Venezuela similar to one that existed for decades in Cuba.

Earlier Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an ultimatum to the international community to support Guaidó as Venezuela’s president.

“The time is now to support the Venezuelan people, to recognize the new democratic government led by interim President Guaidó, and end this nightmare. No excuses,” Pompeo told the United Nations Security Council.

“And now it’s time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games,” he added. “Either you stand with the forces of freedom or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.”

Tags Mike Pompeo

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