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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

National security adviser John Bolton released a statement on Friday condemning Russia's military deployment in Venezuela, cautioning that the U.S. will protect its interests in the Western Hemisphere and consider such actions a "threat to international peace and security in the region."

The state of play: Earlier in the week, two Russian military planes touched down in Caracas with supplies and military advice for embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's regime, per the New York Times.

The backdrop: Maduro's government announced on Thursday that it is barring opposition leader and National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó, who is backed by the U.S. and other nations as Venezuela's rightful president, from holding public office for 15 years.

  • Bolton said in January that any violence against the National Assembly or Guaidó "would signify a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response."

Bolton's full statement:

The Administration condemns Nicolas Maduro's continued use of foreign military personnel in his attempt to remain in power, including the introduction of Russian military personnel and equipment into Venezuela.  Maduro will only use this military support to further repress the people of Venezuela; perpetuate the economic crisis that has destroyed Venezuela’s economy; and endanger regional stability.  We call on the Venezuelan military to uphold its constitutional duty to protect the citizens of Venezuela. 

We strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations.  We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region.  We will continue to defend and protect the interests of the United States, and those of our partners in the Western Hemisphere, which are rooted in a shared respect for liberty, security, and the rule of law. 

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

The quick FCC fix that would get more students online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic forces students out of school, broadband deployment programs aren't going to move fast enough to help families in immediate need of better internet access. But Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission say the incoming Biden administration could put a dent in that digital divide with one fast policy change.

State of play: An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

America's hidden depression

Biden introduces his pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Dec. 1. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Biden faces a fragile recovery that could easily fall apart, as the economy remains in worse shape than most people think.

Why it matters: There is a recovery happening. But it's helping some people immensely and others not at all. And it's that second part that poses a massive risk to the Biden-Harris administration's chance of success.