Bolton dodges question on US support for Saudi, UAE dictators while discussing Venezuela
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Bolton dodges question on US support for Saudi, UAE dictators while discussing Venezuela

During an interview with CNN on Sunday, Jake Tapper, the host, confronted Bolton over his repeated calls to ouster Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whom he calls a “dictator,” and questioned Washington's support for allied dictators in countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “I’d like to see as broad a coalition as we can put together to replace Maduro, to replace the whole corrupt regime, that’s what we are trying to do,” Bolton said. When pressed, he invoked the Monroe Doctrine to claim that the administration of President Donald Trump would rather have a democratic Western hemisphere than worry about other parts of the world. “This (Venezuela) is a country in our hemisphere,” he said. “It’s been the objective of American presidents going back to Ronald Reagan to have a completely democratic hemisphere.” He did not explain why the US has been waging so many wars on the Eastern hemisphere, specifically in the Middle East, under the pretext of bringing democracy and ending what it called dictatorships. Bolton then tried to link the discussion to "Troika of Tyranny" — a term he coined last year to discuss what he called undemocratic developments in the Latin American countries Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. “We are looking very much at the Troika of Tyranny,” he said, adding “this is the sort of thing that we find unacceptable and that is why we are pursuing these policies.” After months of economic and political clashes, Venezuela plunged further into chaos in January after Juan Guaido, the former head of the country’s National Assembly, proclaimed himself “interim president” and urged Maduro to resign. The move led to widespread unrest in the country and put a lot of pressure on Maduro, who had just begun his second six-year term in office after a decisive election victory over the US-backed opposition. Washington rushed to support Guaido and imposed sanctions against Venezuela’s oil industry. Trump and other American officials have also threatened Caracas with military action. Guaido has welcomed the support and has openly tried to contact the Trump administration and other regional governments to cement his position. The US has been trying to send what it insists are aid shipments into the country. However, Maduro has ordered borders with Brazil and Colombia shut, accusing Washington of trying to orchestrate a coup and lay the foundation for a military intervention. Russia, China, Cuba, Iran, Turkey, Syria and a large group of other nations have supported Maduro and warned the US and Guaido against inciting violence. Bolton has been tied with possible US military action. He has called on the Venezuelan military forces to join Guaido and use his “amnesty.” He has also urged Maduro to resign before ending up in the US military’s notorious prison on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Tapper told the hawkish US political veteran on Sunday that Washington’s continued support for dictators in other parts of the world despite their human rights violations “undermined” the argument it was trying to make against Caracas.

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