Speed Reads

crisis in venezuela

Trump reportedly blames John Bolton for embroiling him in a potential Venezuelan quagmire

President Trump is having second thoughts about "his administration's aggressive strategy in Venezuela," complaining to aides and advisers that "he was misled about how easy it would be to replace the socialist strongman," President Nicolás Maduro, with opposition leader Juan Guaidó, The Washington Post reports. "The president's dissatisfaction has crystallized around National Security Adviser John Bolton and what Trump has groused is an interventionist stance at odds with his view that the United States should stay out of foreign quagmires."

Officially, U.S. policy in Venezuela is the same, and last week's failed effort to oust Maduro has "effectively shelved serious discussion of a heavy U.S. military response," and "Trump is now not inclined to order any sort of military intervention in Venezuela," the Post reports, citing current and former officials and outside advisers. Instead, the U.S. is settling in to wait out Maduro on the expectation he will fall on his own, with the help of U.S. sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin "is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he'd like to see something positive happen for Venezuela," Trump said last week, after a 90-minute phone call with Putin. "And I feel the same way. We want to get some humanitarian aid." U.S. officials say Russia is deeply involved in backing Maduro.

Trump has suggesting bombing or invading Venezuela as early as 2017, and he is reportedly more comfortable with his administration's similarly hawkish and interventionist policy toward Iran. And "despite Trump's grumbling that Bolton had gotten him out on a limb on Venezuela, Bolton's job is safe," the Post reports, citing two senior administration officials, "and Trump has told his national security adviser to keep focusing on Venezuela." Read more at The Washington Post.