John Bolton's 'gold docket' reveals "5,000 troops to Colombia" option

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A White House spokesman did nothing to quash the speculation about possible US troop deployments to Colombia. In response to the note, a spokesperson said: "As the president has said, all options are on the table".

Colombia's foreign minister says his government doesn't know why US national security adviser John Bolton had "5,000 troops to Colombia" written on a notepad he held during a news conference announcing new Venezuela sanctions. The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Sending U.S. military troops to Colombia would escalate tensions with Venezuela, even as its opposition leader Juan Guaido has said a peaceful transition of power is possible.

Bolton spoke to White House reporters while holding the yellow notepad and discussing the crisis in Venezuela, where the USA now recognises opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president.

Shanahan told reporters that he hasn't spoken to national security adviser John Bolton about sending troops to Colombia.

Asked directly about Bolton's note, Shanahan joked, "I didn't bring a notepad today".

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Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said the number of US military personnel in Colombia remained unchanged as part of a pre-existing partnership.

Shanahan noted the steps that the State Department and Treasury have taken, which includes new sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company.

The US buys a sizeable amount of Venezuelan oil, but Mnuchin said that the sanctions would have a "modest effect" on American imports.

In a brief address Monday evening, Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes said Colombia does not know the "importance and reason" for Bolton's note.

The U.S. and at least 20 other countries have backed Guaido as Venezuela's interim president. However, the Colombian Defence Ministry told Sputnik that the country's government did not plan to provide the United States with military bases to invade Venezuela. He will serve as the representative of the government of Venezuela to the United States.

Whilst China and Russian Federation have pledged their support for Maduro with the latter accusing the U.S. of trying to seize power in Venezuela.

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