The first line of Bolton's note reads: "Afghanistan- welcome the talks;" a reference to a new framework for peace talks between the US, the Afghan government, and the Taliban reported widely on Monday.
Tensions between the two countries appeared to lessen somewhat after Maduro's regime suspended its demand that USA diplomats leave the country within 72 hours late on January 26. The White House was conspicuously reluctant to clarify the meaning of the note, and distributed the same brief comment to multiple news agencies: "As the president has said, all options are on the table".
Colombia's Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo, in a statement late on Monday, said: "We are not aware of the significance or the reason" for Bolton's notes.
Colombia shares a 2,200km land border with Venezuela and has sided with the United States in piling pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government.More news: Ranked Justin Rose holds off Adam Scott to win Farmers Insurance Open
Trump's neoconservative, pathologically pro-war Nat Sec Adviser John Bolton holding out a notepad with "5,000 troops to Colombia" on it, for journalists to easily take a photo of, is likely not an accident.
"The United States is holding accountable those responsible for Venezuela's tragic decline, and will continue to use the full suite of its diplomatic and economic tools to support Interim President Juan Guaidó, the National Assembly, and the Venezuelan people's efforts to restore their democracy", Mnuchin said in a statement.
This is a threat to Venezuela, without him having to saying it directly.
It's unclear whether Bolton's notes were a sure indication that the Trump administration was considering sending USA troops to Colombia, also uncertain was whether Bolton's disclosure of the notes was intentional.
It's about the oil ... again. "We both have a lot at stake here".