Marco Rubio

NYT: Footage contradicts U.S. claims of Maduro burning aid trucks

Vice President Mike Pence with John Bolton behind him.
Vice President Mike Pence and national security adviser John Bolton. Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

Unpublished footage obtained by the New York Times contradicts claims by the Trump administration that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was responsible for lighting a convoy of humanitarian aid on fire.

The big picture: The Times notes that Vice President Mike Pence, national security Adviser John Bolton and Sen. Marco Rubio had all referenced the burning of the trucks in their continued condemnation of the Maduro regime, with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó joining in as well. But the new video suggests it was an errant Molotov cocktail thrown by an anti-government protestor that accidentally lit one of the trucks on fire.

Inside Trump's Venezuela pivot

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Many observers see Trump's hawkish approach to Venezuela as a foreign policy aberration. In reality, though, it's pure Trump. Over a week of interviews, people with intimate knowledge of the president's thinking detailed to me why he's taken an unusually interventionist stance toward this country.

The key factors are instincts, personal relationships, aggressive advisers, and political opportunism.

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