14:13 GMT02 April 2020
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    The deployment of additional troops at the US-Mexican border does not prompt concerns in Mexico, but may be regarded as an indirect message to Caracas, Raul Benitez Manaut, a professor at Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), opined, speaking to Sputnik.

    The soldiers that Donald Trump is deploying at the southern border do not have permission to engage in battle, so actually this is only a "deterrent message", Raul Benitez Manaut, a professor at Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), told Sputnik Mundo.

    "More troops being sent to the Southern Border to stop the attempted Invasion of Illegals, through large Caravans, into our Country", Trump tweeted 31 January.

    ​On 3 February, the Pentagon announced that it would send 3,750 troops to the US border with Mexico. Together with additional troops, the border force amounts to 4,350, according to Department of Defence estimates.

    In addition, about 250 active duty troops have been repositioned from the border mission in Arizona to the Eagle Pass region, Texas in response to a 2,000-strong migrant caravan, the Pentagon announced on 6 February.

    "The Mexican government and the Mexican people have become accustomed to not being bothered by such things", Manaut said. "Therefore, the government does not respond. It's all about the deployment of troops within the framework of the US domestic policy, which is related to [the US government] shutdown and serves as a message to the Democrats".

    At the same time, the professor believes that Trump's move could be also regarded as a message to Venezuela.

    "[Sending troops to the border with Mexico] can also be an indirect message to Venezuela that Trump is forming an army for various purposes. In this case, to protect the border", Manout pointed out.

    The southern border issue took on a new significance in October 2018, when a massive caravan flowing from Central America charted a course toward the US.

    "To those in the Caravan, turnaround [sic], we are not letting people into the United States illegally. Go back to your Country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!" Donald Trump tweeted on 25 October, while the movement was gathering steam.

    In late October, ahead of the US midterm elections, the White House announced that it would launch Operation Faithful Patriot, focusing on Texas, Arizona and California. In early November, the Department of Defence dropped the title from the military mission and has since then referred to it as "border support".

    Under the plan 5,200 troops had to ensure the US-Mexican border safety. Earlier, in April 2018, about 2,100 National Guard servicemen were deployed in the region at Donald Trump's request.

    Meanwhile, the US is sending strong signals to Venezuela, which has been engulfed by political crisis since 23 January, when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself an interim president and was recognised by the US, as well as a number of Latin American states. Russia, Mexico, Turkey, Uruguay and some other countries have voiced their support for Nicolas Maduro as the country's legitimate president.

    Speaking to CBS on 3 February, Trump noted that military intervention in Venezuela could be an "option".

    Earlier, National Security Adviser John Bolton stated that "all options are on the table", adding that the US' "objective is a peaceful transfer of power".

    "We are very worried about the use of force or interventions as we are against that, absolutely", Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told Sputnik ahead of the meeting of the International Contact Group on Venezuela.

    For its part, Moscow has repeatedly warned the US against potential intervention.

    On 7 February, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that "there are still signs coming from Washington about the possibility of using force in order to overthrow the legal authorities, including through direct military invasion [of Venezuela]".

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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