The US military currently has about 200 troops in Colombia, which was among the first to follow the US lead last week and recognise “interim president” Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate ruler, and Colombia and the US have developed close security ties over past decades.
Colonel Rob Manning, Pentagon spokesman, said the number of US military personnel in Colombia remained unchanged, and Carlos Holmes Trujillo, Colombia’s foreign minister, said Bogota had not been informed of any increase in the US military presence.
“We are not aware of the significance or the reason” for Mr Bolton’s notes, he said.
The drum beat began on January 23 with Donald Trump’s recognition of Mr Guaido, and has only got louder in the intervening six days. Over the weekend Australia and Israel joined the 20-odd countries that now accept Mr Guaido as the interim president, and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, told the UN security council that “the time is now” to move to oust the “illegitimate mafia state” of Mr Maduro.