by WorldTribune Staff, August 14, 2017
A high-ranking Venezuelan official who has been engaged in a public feud with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is said to have put out a hit order on the Florida Republican, a report said.
Rubio has been guarded by a security detail for several weeks in both Washington and Miami after the threat, said to have been issued by Diosdado Cabello, Venezuela’s former military chief and lawmaker from the ruling socialist party, the Miami Herald reported on Aug. 13, citing U.S. intelligence officials.
Rubio has referred to Cabello as “the Pablo Escobar of Venezuela.” A week ago on Twitter, Cabello dubbed the senator “Narco Rubio.”
A memo to several law enforcement agencies disseminated last month by the Department of Homeland Security 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.
The memo, designated “law enforcement sensitive” but not classified, was obtained by the Miami Herald.
The memo also mentioned that Cabello has been a vocal Rubio critic in Venezuelan media and may have gone as far as to contact “unspecified Mexican nationals” in connection with his plan to harm Rubio.
The U.S. believes Cabello controls all of Venezuela’s security forces.
Cabello and other high-ranking Venezuelan government members have been under investigation by U.S. authorities for suspected drug smuggling, an allegation Cabello has denied.
Cabello, 54, is a former army lieutenant who was close to the late President Hugo Chavez and fought alongside him in a failed 1992 coup. Cabello is now a delegate to the new Constituent Assembly.