U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton delivered the commencement address at the U.S Coast Guard Academy in New London Wednesday, welcoming the graduating cadets into their service careers as he warned them of the dangers they are about to face.
“Today, as threats against the United States grow more complex, the demand for the unique expertise and unmatched breadth of the Coast Guard has never been greater,” Bolton said. “Your country needs all of those who can live up to the motto ‘always ready’.”
Bolton said that Coast Guard ensigns could join oceanic efforts to prevent piracy in Africa, enforce UN sanctions on North Korea, and monitor the situation in Venezuela – saying that the Coast Guard is “intercepting drugs and combating transnational criminal organizations” in waters off the coast of South America.
As he spoke, protesters were in New London to rally against the American response in Venezuela. In a statement issued before the ceremony, the protesters alleged Bolton to be one of the “primary architects” of a coup to oust Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.
Bolton was introduced by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz, who thanked Bolton for the administration’s funding of a Coast Guard polar security cutter, along with other patrol and fast-response commissioned vessels. Schultz called Bolton a “true patriot and public servant.”