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Trump is giving up on regime change in Venezuela because it's complicated and he got bored, report says

Business Insider | Jun 20, 2019, 03.27PM IST

Donald Trump John Bolton

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters with National Security Adviser John Bolton looking on in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, May 3, 2019.

  • President Donald Trump is losing interest in Venezuela after a bid to oust President Nicolas 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" his national security adviser John Bolton and Latin America policy director Mauricio Claver-Carone as Maduro clung to power.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump is losing interest in Venezuela after a bid to remove President Nicolás Maduro failed and he clings to power, 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 to 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 speaking on 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.

Juan Guaido

AP/Fernando Llano

Juan Guaidó, head of Venezuela's opposition tried and failed to oust Maduro in April.

Current and former officials told the Post that Trump had "chewed out" national security adviser John Bolton and Latin America policy director Mauricio Claver-Carone because they "got played" both by US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó, and Maduro regime figures - who claimed to have supported ousting Maduro.

Read more: 'All roads lead to occupation': Here's what would happen if Trump followed through on threats to send troops to Venezuela

Back 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 recognise Guaidó as the country's rightful leader.

The Pentagon even refused to rule out using military force to aid 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 claimed Russian forces had withdrawn from the country. Russia denied so much as discussing with the president withdrawing its defense personnel.

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