According to Patricia Mazzei of the Miami Herald, Diosdado Cabello Rondon, a drug lord and an influential figure within Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuelan government, may have placed a hit order on Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).
The death threat was outlined in a memo to several law enforcement agencies disseminated last month by the Department of Homeland Security. …
The memo revealed an “order to have Senator Rubio assassinated,” though it also warned that “no specific information regarding an assassination plot against Senator Rubio has been garnered thus far” and that the U.S. had not been able to verify the threat. That Cabello has been a vocal Rubio critic in Venezuelan media was also noted, a sign federal authorities are well aware of the political bluster complicating the situation.
Politico also obtained the memo, and in a piece published Sunday quoted a disturbing passage:
Cabello Rondon did indeed issue an order... to have Senator Rubio assassinated. … Cabello Rondon was communicating with unspecified Mexican nationals in furtherance of the matter.
On July 19, 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.”
Speaking to Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Rubio said:
The Treasury department of the United States has imposed financial sanctions on at least 17 Venezuelans for narcotics trafficking, including nine current and former Venezuelan officials. For example, in February, the Treasury Department imposed drug-trafficking sanctions against the vice president of the country. There are also very strong allegations made by defectors and others about the involvement of an individual by the name of Diosdado Cabello, who I — in my personal view, based on everything I have seen — he is not simply a political leader, he is, in my view, the Pablo Escobar of Venezuela today. He is a narco-trafficker.
Cabello responded by issuing two tweets on August 6, calling Marco Rubio “Narco Rubio”:
Translation: "The first character who comes out to defend the terrorist attack already knows where everything comes from, you will be defeated once and a thousand times.”
Translation: "Narco Rubio, alias @marcorubio, the worst of imperial politics, appears as the defender of the terrorists who attacked Fort Paramacay."
The same day, Senator Rubio quoted Cabello in a Twitter response:
Patricia Mazzei and Politico report that Rubio has been followed by a security detail including members of the Capitol Police, and Miami-Dade County officials for at least a month, indicating one of two possibilities: 1) The threat outlined in the memo has been verified; 2) It is being taken very seriously regardless of its validity.
As Nicolas Maduro and his allies bring Venezuela to its knees, Rubio stands virtually alone in his vocal condemnation of specific individuals like Diosdado Cabello Rondon. Unfortunately, the fact that his actions have made him a target may deter others from speaking out.