The tensions between the United States and Venezuela just went up a notch.
In an apparent ploy for public sympathy, embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused Trump of ordering his assassination.
“Donald Trump has without doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me,” Maduro told a Russian news outlet.
After Maduro won a second term in an election most deemed illegitimate and corrupt, there has been pressure on Maduro to leave office.
Of course, he refuses to leave.
Since the leftist dictator refused to leave office on his own, the President of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Juan Guaido, has tried to claim power.
Backing Guaido is the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil. Chile and Columbia.
Russia, China, and Mexico continue to stand behind Maduro.
As part of Maduro’s refusal to leave office, he has stated Trump has asked the Columbians to assassinate him in order to put Guaido in his place.
It is a ludicrous claim, obviously made to elicit a specific response.
It is nothing more than a weak public relations tactic to try to get public sympathy behind him.
Ramping Up Pressure
In an effort to end this standoff before it becomes violent, Trump had previously offered Maduro a safe “exit plan” if he were to voluntarily leave office.
More recently, Guaido has also stated he would consider giving Maduro safe passage out of the country if he were to step down.
Maduro does not seem willing to even consider these options, though, as he has called on the Venezuelan Supreme Court to freeze all the accounts of Guaido.
The court, it should be noted, is stacked with Maduro allies.
National Security Advisor John Bolton had made it quite clear, however, if anything happens to Guaido, there will be severe consequences.
In a bizarre twist, Bolton allowed his notepad to be photographed with a note about sending 5,000 troops to Columbia.
The clock is definitely ticking on a peaceful solution to this ordeal.
It may only be a matter of time before U.S. and Russian forces are nose-to-nose in what may become Trump’s first true military standoff with Putin.