US national security advisor, John Bolton, has been photographed holding a notepad with the words: “5,000 troops to Colombia” written on it.
Bolton’s handwritten notes were seen while he was holding a press conference about imposing sanctions on the state-owned oil company in Venezuela, Colombia’s neighbour.
The US has taken a strong stance against the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, announcing that it recognises Juan Guaidó, who heads the opposition, as the legitimate leader of the country.
The writing seen on Bolton’s yellow legal pad reinforces remarks he made on Sunday in which he said that any violence against US diplomatic staff, the National Assembly or Juan Guaidó would be met with a “significant response.”
White House officials have never ruled out the possibility of deploying military personnel in the region. In response to the note, a spokesperson said: "As the president has said, all options are on the table."
Columbia is an ally of the US but shares a 2,000 kilometre border with Venezuela.