General Ivan Hernandez pictured right in the red cap next to Maduro. This week National Security Adviser John Bolton rebuked General Hernandez for backing out of a plan to overthrow Maduro
Donald Trump had the chance to woo Venezuelan generals, but didn’t.
Venezuelan General Ivan Hernandez, who is head of both the presidential guard and military counterintelligence, wanted to send his three-year-old son to Boston for brain surgery and needed visas for his family.
He made the request around May 2017, and after days of debate, the Trump administration rejected the request, citing seeing no point in helping a senior member of a socialist government.
That decision from Trump’s still young administration was a determining factor of its stance against president Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela.
A letter, seen by AP, was addressed to the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela from Boston Children’s Hospital and states that Hernandez’s son had been authorized for surgery on March 14, 2017, for which the family had made a $150,000 deposit.
It states that it is ‘in the child’s best interests’ if both Hernandez and his wife were granted visas to accompany the child during what was expected to be a two-month convalescence.
That visa rejection was revealed by a former U.S. official and another person familiar with the internal discussions to AP.
After the request for humanitarian visas was rejected, a former senior Venezuelan official cooperating with U.S. law enforcement appealed to his contacts in Washington on Hernandez’s behalf.
However, once again the request fell on deaf ears, reflecting what one of the sources viewed as a lack of strategic thinking by top policymakers in the White House and State Department.