According to intelligence obtained by the U.S. last month, one of Venezuela’s most powerful political leaders may have put out an order to kill Florida Senator Marco Rubio. The senator has been a staunch critic of the South American country’s government.
Although there is some discrepancy about whether or not the threat is real, U.S. authorities took it seriously enough to give Rubio a security detail for several weeks in both Washington and Miami.
Diosdado Cabello, the former military chief, and lawmaker from the ruling socialist party is said to be behind the murder threat. He has publicly feuded with Rubio in the past. Rubio was first seen with the new security detail on July 19th. That day he repeated his statement previously made that Cabello is “the Pablo Escobar of Venezuela.” U.S. authorities have long suspected Diosdado Cabello for drug trafficking. Just a week ago, Cabello called Rubio on Twitter, “Narco Rubio.”
The death threat put on Rubio was detailed in a memo to several law enforcement agencies by the Department of Homeland Security. The memo was designated “law enforcement sensitive” but not classified, and was obtained by the Miami Herald. The memo disclosed an “order to have Senator Rubio assassinated,” but it also warned that “no specific information regarding an assassination plot against Senator Rubio has been garnered thus far.” At this point, the U.S. has not been able to verify the threat fully.
According to the details of the memo, Cabello may have contacted “unspecified Mexican nationals” in his attempt to harm Rubio. The United States believes that Cabello is in control of all of Venezuela’s security forces. The Venezuelan Embassy in Washington declined to make any comment on this issue. And Venezuela’s Ministry of Communication and Information said Sunday it could not respond to media requests until Monday. Rubio also declined to comment, sending reporters questions to the Capitol Police. They also refused to comment, saying that it would be inappropriate to comment on the seriousness of the threat.
Rubio has been at the forefront of the effort for a strong response against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government, both before and after the highly disputed July 30th vote that elected a new legislative body whose powers are higher than all other government branches.
Rubio’s strong stand may now be causing those who hold power in Venezuela to make the ultimate threat against the senator’s life. What should be done about this possible death threat?