Blackwater signals it may get back in business as Trump mulls Afghanistan troop drawdown

A controversial U.S. private security firm signaled Friday it is slated to return to business, spurring questions of whether President Trump will seek to privatize the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

Blackwater took out a full-page ad in the latest edition of Recoil magazine with the message: “We are coming,” the Military Times reported on Friday. The ad comes a day after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced he would resign from his post and word emerged that President Trump will draw down troops in Afghanistan.

Former founder Erik Prince sold the company in 2010, but has maintained communications with Trump and reportedly pressed him to employ private contractors in Afghanistan, where the U.S. is said to be preparing to withdraw nearly 7,000 troops.

Prince — who has also been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into whether Trump colluded with the Russians during the 2016 election — does not have any known relations to the Constellis Group, the new name put on the company after it was purchased by Apollo Holdings Group. The firm reportedly shelved plans earlier this year to try to sell the Constellis Group.

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Mexican leader to invite Trump to inauguration, signals shift on Venezuela

Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday he would invite U.S. President Donald Trump to his Dec. 1 inauguration, as the leftist leader signaled a potential shift in Mexican policy toward Venezuela.

Lopez Obrador, who won a landslide election victory on Sunday, said he would invite Trump along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other heads of state to his swearing in.

Replying to a question about the approach his government would take to the crisis in socialist-led Venezuela, Lopez Obrador said he would adopt a policy of “non-intervention.”

Non-intervention in the affairs of other states is a bedrock of Mexico’s foreign policy. But the government of outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto has spoken out strongly against Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro for what it sees as his undemocratic practices, siding closely with the United States and seeking votes against the OPEC nation in diplomatic forums.

Trump and former Mexico City Mayor Lopez Obrador spoke by telephone on Monday, discussing immigration and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Relations between the two will be closely watched because Trump has regularly criticized Mexico.

Speaking at a press conference, Lopez Obrador, 64, also said he was replacing his original pick for foreign minister, Hector Vasconcelos, with Marcelo Ebrard, another former mayor of the capital.