Arguably Venezuela’s most powerful leader, Diosdado Cabello, may have put out an assassination order for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a fierce critic of the South American nation's government, according to intelligence obtained by the U.S. last month. Diosdado Cabello is Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s right-hand man. Cabello often goes on the offensive against Maduro’s opponents both locally and abroad.
Cabello, 54, is a former army officer who was close to the late President Hugo Chávez and fought with him in a failed 1992 coup. A former VP and head of parliament, Cabello is now a delegate to the new all-powerful assembly. He continues to hold major influence over the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
Though federal authorities couldn’t be positive at the time if the death warrant threat was real, they took it seriously enough insofar that Rubio has been guarded by beefed up security details for several weeks, seen in both Washington and Miami. U.S. Capitol security forces had planned to “beef up” protections for lawmakers regardless following the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was wounded on June 14 as Republican lawmakers practiced for the annual Congressional baseball game.
The U.S. became aware of a "possible threat against Florida United States Senator Marco Rubio" and refers to a "potentially grave threat to Sen. Rubio."
CBS Miami obtained a memo outlining the threat, issued by a federal agency and sent to local police through the Department of Homeland Security. CBS Miami agreed not to show the memo and to not cite names, locations or identifying information. The memo states that the threat comes from Diosdado Cabello, a Venezuelan lawmaker who is a former top military official.
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The two page memo is marked "law enforcement sensitive" but does not appear to be classified.
Marco Rubio has not commented on the threat publicly, nor are there any suggestions as to why Senator Rubio was targeted. However, the senator has been a fervent opponent from within the U.S. on Venezuela, and in particular on Cabello, whom Rubio has referred to as “the Pablo Escobar of Venezuela,” while Cabello, in turn, has referred to Rubio as “Narco Rubio.”
As Venezuela descended into a chaos and a fraud-riddled election that enabled Maduro to claim power, the United States labeled him a dictator and slapped individual sanctions on him and other members of his regime. After a military uprising against Maduro was quashed, Rubio on Aug. 6 called out Cabello on Twitter and said the incident “shows who's in charge of security forces in #Venezuela.”
I'm sure it did not make the climate any better when Senator Rubio spoke at a hearing titled: “The Collapse of the Rule of Law in Venezuela: What the United States and the International Community Can Do to Restore Democracy.”
Personally, I think calling a South American former military leader and current socialist leader names pertaining to a drug lord are not as far fetched as calling an American Senator names of the same kind. But hey, Politicians love to beat their chests, even if they do sound like emotional school children.
Rubio is not the only politician who has prompted the attention Cabello, who went off on President Donald Trump over the weekend, following Trump’s comments that he would not rule out a “military operation” in Venezuela.
Just in case you need concrete proof about why Cabello is known as a powerful drug lord, here's more dirt on him and a teaser of what his former body guards are ready to divulge:
U.S. prosecutors are investigating several high-ranking Venezuelan officials, including the president of the country’s congress, on suspicion that they have turned the country into a global hub for cocaine trafficking and money laundering, according to more than a dozen people familiar with the probes…
A leading target, according to a Justice Department official and other American authorities, is National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, considered the country’s second most-powerful man.
Leamsy Salazar, who had previously worked for late President Hugo Chávez’s security detail, is currently in Washington, where he is expected to provide witness testimony implicating Mr. Cabello in organizing cocaine-smuggling operations controlled by Venezuela’s military, two people familiar with the matter said.
The Venezuelan Embassy refused comment this weekend, and a spokesperson for Rubio would not comment on the assassination threats also. Rubio’s office had previously sent reporters’ questions about the security detail to Capitol Police who also declined to comment.
This is a show that people may want to grab some popcorn for. If there's a battle between Rubio and Venezuelan's, then it could get very ugly.