- President Donald Trump is losing interest in Venezuela after a bid to oust President Nicolás Maduro by US-backed opposition figures in April failed, according to The Washington Post.
- An official told The Post that Trump had always thought of Venezuela as “low-hanging fruit” on which he “could get a win and tout it as a major foreign policy victory.”
- Trump reportedly “chewed out” national security adviser John Bolton and Mauricio Claver-Carone, the Latin America policy director, as Maduro clung to power.
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President Donald Trump is losing interest in Venezuela after a bid to remove President Nicolás Maduro failed, officials told The Washington Post.
In April, a US-backed bid by the Venezuelan opposition to remove Maduro failed, when senior Venezuelan government and military officials reneged on promises to switch sides and instead stood by the president.
According to US officials who spoke with The Post, Trump had viewed the prospect of a US-backed toppling of Maduro as an “easy win” at a time when other foreign-policy initiatives had stalled.
A former administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the publication that Trump had always thought of Venezuela as “low-hanging fruit” on which he “could get a win and tout it as a major foreign policy victory.”
“Five or six months later … it’s not coming together,” the official said.
Current and former officials told The Post that Trump had “chewed out” national security adviser John Bolton and Mauricio Claver-Carone, the Latin America policy director, because they “got played” by both the US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó and Maduro regime figures – who said they supported ousting Maduro.
In January, when Guaidó declared himself interim president of Venezuela and urged the military to turn against Maduro, the US was quick to declare its support, imposing sanctions on Venezuelan government officials sending food aid to the country and pressing allies to recognize Guaidó as the country’s rightful leader.
The Pentagon even refused to rule out using military force to aid in ousting Maduro, a move which experts told Business Insider could have resulted in the US being bogged down in a protracted conflict similar to those in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The issue has largely fallen off Trump’s Twitter feed, with the president last mentioning Venezuela on June 4, when he said Russian forces had withdrawn from the country. Russia denied it discussed with the president withdrawing its defense personnel.