Tuesday on Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio show, National Security Advisor John Bolton weighed in on the turmoil in Venezuela as the situation deteriorates during May Day protesting.

Bolton told Hewitt it was likely that Nicolás Maduro and his regime were hiding in a “bunker.”
“Maduro and his regime were down in a bunker somewhere,” he said. “And basically, where they are is a place called Fort Tiuna, which is the Cuban headquarters in Venezuela. Why were they there? Because I think they couldn’t trust most of the Venezuelan forces to actually protect them. The Cubans, they could count on. That tells you what the real political situation in Venezuela is for the regime.”

As far as U.S. involvement, Bolton noted the options and said forces were prepared if called upon.

“There are a lot of options underway,” he added. “I spoke with Pat Shanahan myself. Mike Pompeo and I have been talking. We’ve been talking to the intelligence community. Admiral Faller had a great line a couple of days ago referring to the Southern Command which he’s in charge of. He said we’re on the balls of our feet ready to go. And that’s the kind of attitude we need. This is something that the president of the United States tweeted again last night to get the Cubans out of Venezuela. You know, I think our view is if the 20-25,000 Cuban security forces left today, Maduro would fall by midnight. That’s what’s keeping him in power. There’s no popular support for him. There is support from a cadre of top regime officials who have benefited from the corruption, the drug trafficking, the looting of Venezuelan assets these last 20 years. But it’s the Cuban presence more than anything else that keeps the regime in power.”

Follow Jeff poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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