Embattled president Nicolas Maduro is “now surrounded by scorpions in a bottle and it’s only a matter of time” before he’s ousted, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Wednesday.
“Maduro spent the day not in the company of Venezuelan forces, but surrounded by Cubans because he doubted the loyalty of the Venezuelan armed forces,” Bolton told reporters in a briefing on the White House lawn.
“If this afternoon 20-25,000 Cubans left Venezuela, I think Maduro would fall by midnight,” Bolton said.
His comments came the day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro had been on the cusp of fleeing to Cuba before he was talked into staying by Moscow – a claim denied by both Maduro and Russia.
When asked what evidence the administration had to support Pompeo’s claims, Bolton said “this is one of those situations where I really can’t tell you the specifics of it.”