If he wins re-election this November, US President Donald Trump will try to meet with his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolás Maduro, and reach an “agreement” with him, regardless of the “damage” to the opposition, said his former Nationa Security Advisor, John Bolton on Friday, July 10.
In an interview with the Spanish news agency Efe, Bolton argued that Trump has so far put on hold his idea of meeting with Maduro due in part to electoral calculations in the key state of Florida, but if he wins a second and last term, “those political restrictions will no longer be, or at least they will decrease enormously.”
“I think he will be very interested (in Venezuela) until November 3 (the date of the US presidential elections), and he will campaign with that flag in Florida with the Venezuelan and Cuban communities,” Bolton said.
“What worries me is what he will do after November 3, because I think this idea of meeting with Maduro will come back. He thinks he can negotiate an agreement on any issue, and he will try to do it with Maduro, and that could have very damaging effects on the Venezuelan opposition,” he added.
Bolton spoke to Efe precisely while Trump was traveling to Florida to meet in a church with representatives of the Venezuelan community and Cuban exiles, whose support could be key to retaining that important state in the elections.
“Until (the date of the election), President Trump will continue to support the (Venezuelan) opposition. The question is, if he wins in November, how does that support continue in a second Trump term?” Bolton asked.
In his new memoir, The Room Where It Happened, Bolton highlights that Trump “hesitated” a lot in his support for the Venezuelan opposition deputy, Juan Guaidó, before and after recognizing him as the legitimate president of Venezuela, and that he saw him as a “weak” figure compared to Maduro’s “tough” one.
He also writes that Trump often raised with his advisers the idea of scheduling a meeting with Maduro, but Bolton assured Efe that, at least during his time as an adviser, there were never serious plans to arrange that meeting.
“Not while I was in the White House, that’s for sure. Many people recommended that he do so, Republicans whom Maduro had somehow persuaded or convinced other people to persuade,” said the former high ranked US official.
“This is not too different from his way of seeing things in other areas: with (Russian President) Vladimir Putin, with (Chinese) Xi Jinping, with (Turkish, Recep Tayyip) Erdogan … (He likes the idea) of meeting with a strong and authoritative figure, but in the case of Venezuela it is not in the interest of the United States,” he said of leaders from countries that counter the US hegemony.
“It would send a very bad signal, a meeting would encourage people to think that maybe we don’t support the opposition as strongly as we actually do,” he said.
Bolton insisted that “what keeps Maduro in power” is the support of the other two members of what he defines as “the troika of tyranny,” an alleged axis made up of the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. But in Venezuela the real force behind Chavez and Maduro is the Venezuelan people and its anti-imperialistic spirit.
“I think these regimes are supporting each other, and that’s why I call them the ‘troika of tyranny’, including (Daniel) Ortega in Nicaragua. They are closely related. If one of them fell, it is possible that the other two would too,” he said of Nicaragua, which has been in the crosshairs of the US hard right for 40 years since it broke with American hegemony under the successful Sandinista revolution.
(La IguanaTV) with OT content