Trump Administration Urges Allies to Support Guaidó in Venezuela
The senior administration official who spoke to reporters on Wednesday said that Mr. Guaidó and his government would have the authority to engage in financial transactions involving Venezuela and the United States, and not Mr. Maduro.
The president has said that the United States would not scold other countries about human rights and he has made friends with some of the world’s leading autocrats in places like Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, China, North Korea and the Philippines.
Just last month, Mr. Trump abruptly ordered the withdrawal of troops from Syria, arguing that America’s only interest there was fighting the Islamic State. He offered no criticism at the time of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whose government for years has waged war against its own citizens, resulting in hundreds of thousands of casualties and millions of displaced people.
“Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East,” Mr. Trump asked after making the decision in December, decrying the notion that the United States had a role to play “protecting others” in the region.
In his first foreign trip as president in 2017, he told an audience in Saudi Arabia that he would not try to dictate how other countries treat their own citizens. “We are not here to lecture,” he said. “We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship.”
Mr. Bolton, in his conversation with reporters on Thursday, dismissed a question about why Mr. Maduro is worse than other leaders Mr. Trump has dealt with in places like China, Turkey and the Philippines.
“Well, your question is full of fallacies,” Mr. Bolton said. “The fact is Venezuela is in our hemisphere. I think we have a special responsibility here and I think the president feels very strongly about it.”