Open main menu

Troika of tyranny

Bolton's "troika of tyranny" comprised Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela which are seen in red while the United States is blue.

The phrase "troika of tyranny" was first used by United States National Security Advisor John R. Bolton during a speech on behalf of President Donald Trump at Miami Dade College on November 1, 2018 to describe the nations of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.[1] The United States had condemned actions performed by the governments of the three Latin American nations and has maintained both broad and targeted sanctions against their leadership, along with other regime change efforts.[2]

John Bolton subsequently referred to "troika of tyranny" concept to justify the United States' political interference in the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, explaining that "Venezuela's one of the three countries I call the 'troika of tyranny'. It'll make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezeula. It'd be good for the people of Venezuela, it'd be good for the people of the United States. We both have a lot at stake here making this come out the right way."[3]



United States National Security Advisor John R. Bolton, who read the speech, previously worked with the George W. Bush administration to create the Beyond the Axis of Evil, the addition of Cuba, Libya and Syria to Bush's already existing axis of evil.[4] As millions fled the crisis in Venezuela where economic collapse and political persecution occurred while hundreds were killed by the Daniel Ortega administration during the 2018 Nicaraguan protests–with both governments being directly supported by Cuba–the United States government condemned the actions performed by the three countries.[2]


In the November 1, 2018 speech, Ambassador Bolton made announcements concerning United States foreign policy in Latin America. Bolton condemned the nations of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela for their actions against their citizens.[1]

Bolton also praised the elections of right-wing presidents in Latin America including Ivan Duque of Colombia and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.[1][5] He also condemned socialism saying "the problems we see in Latin America today have not emerged because socialism has been implemented poorly. On the contrary, the Cuban, Venezuelan, and Nicaraguan people suffer in misery because socialism has been implemented effectively" and that the troika was "the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability, and the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the western hemisphere".[1] Bolton concluded his speech stating "Look to the North; look to our flag; look to your own. The Troika will crumble. The people will triumph. And, the righteous flame of freedom will burn brightly again in this Hemisphere".[1]


Due to the speech's proximity to the 2018 United States elections and the location of the speech in Florida, Columbia University professor and Latin American expert Christopher Sabatini stated in regards to Bolton's audience of Cuban, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan-Americans that it was "no coincidence that this speech is being made where there are tight races for governor and for Congress. It is just another example of how our policy in the hemisphere is driven by local politics, and it’s sad".[2]

Vox criticized the Trump administration's condemnation of the "troika" while aligning itself with the far-right Bolsonaro in Brazil and found it ironic that Bolton applauded the freedoms provided to Cuban, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan-Americans in the audience while the Trump government banned those fleeing from oppression entry into the United States.[5] The Guardian described the speech used by Bolton as "bellicose" and that such statements were "likely to stoke growing fears in Latin America that Washington could recruit rightwing governments in Brazil and Colombia to take military action against Venezuela".[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "Remarks by National Security Advisor Ambassador John R. Bolton on the Administration's Policies in Latin America | The White House". The White House. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Borger, Julian (1 November 2018). "Bolton praises Bolsonaro while declaring 'troika of tyranny' in Latin America". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  3. ^ Bolton, John R. (24 January 2019). Trish Regan Primetime - Thursday, January 24. Fox Business Network. Event occurs at 7:15.
  4. ^ John R. Bolton (May 6, 2002). "Beyond the Axis of Evil: Additional Threats from Weapons of Mass Destruction". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Ward, Alex (1 November 2018). "John Bolton just gave an "Axis of Evil" speech about Latin America". Vox. Retrieved 29 November 2018.