Bolton warns Venezuela of “significant response” if US diplomats, Guaido are threatened

Washington: National Security Advisor of the United States John Bolton said that any violence and intimidation against US diplomats, Venezuela’s “democratic leader” Juan Guaido or the National Assembly will be met with “significant response” from the US.

“Any violence and intimidation against U.S. diplomatic personnel, Venezuela’s democratic leader, Juan Guiado, or the National Assembly itself would represent a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response,” Bolton tweeted on Sunday (local time).

He also said that Cuba’s “support and control” over current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro‘s armed forces are “well known”.

“Cuba’s support and control over Maduro’s security and paramilitary forces are well known,” he said in another tweet.

Last week, the US and a few of its allies recognised Guaido as Venezuela’s interim President. The move was met by Maduro severing all diplomatic ties with the US and ordering all American diplomats to leave the country. He also directed all Venezuelan diplomats to return from the US.

However, on Saturday, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry suspended the expulsion of the US diplomats, The Hill reported.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo labelled Maduro’s regime in Venezuela as an “illegitimate mafia state” and called for all nations to “pick sides” in the crisis while addressing a UN Security Council emergency meeting.

On January 23, Guaido, the opposition leader and National Assembly President, proclaimed himself as President of Venezuela to crowds of cheering protesters. He was immediately recognised as interim President by the USA.

Maduro, in turn, labelled it as a coup attempt by the US.

Countries like Russia, Bolivia, Iran, and Turkey have extended their support to Maduro and slammed international interference in the South American nation.