Senator Marco Rubio is the go-to guy when it comes to being tough on Latin American regimes, but now it may be putting him in real danger.
The Miami Herald has a fascinating, if not troubling, story on Rubio and his public feud with a Venezuelan politician, and how it may have led to a threat against the Florida senator’s life.
Though federal authorities couldn’t be sure at the time if the uncorroborated threat was real, they took it seriously enough that Rubio has been guarded by a security detail for several weeks in both Washington and Miami.
Believed to be behind the order: Diosdado Cabello, the influential former military chief and lawmaker from the ruling socialist party who has publicly feuded with Rubio.
Cabello seems to be one of those guys with a whole lot of power and not enough people to pick a fight with. Since his party controls all of Venezuela at this point, he’s finding opposition at home to be a bit scarce, so he seems to be flexing his muscle abroad.
A memo was handed out to law enforcement agencies, but it was not deemed “confidential.” The Miami Herald got a hold of it and the details suggest that there is no specific information, but it’s a serious enough matter that they’re going to up his security detail just in case.
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.
It comes at a pretty challenging time for politicians, too. As the Herald points out, Congressmen Steve Scalise was shot by an angry U.S. citizen. Tensions in the country are pretty high. Adding an assassin to the mix makes things even worse, and puts a ton of pressure on both Rubio and law enforcement.
So, why go after Rubio? Well, he appears to be Donald Trump’s go-to guy when it comes to Venezuela (and, I imagine, other Latin American countries). Rubio is a hawk on foreign issues, and he is a valuable asset to have on your side. His tough rhetoric on Venezuela has been absolutely spot-on, and it’s apparently too on-point for Venezuelan officials to be comfortable with.
Rubio, 46, has led the push for a robust U.S. response against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government before and after a disputed July 30 vote that elected a new legislative body whose powers supersede all other government branches — including the opposition-held parliament. Rubio has publicly warned Maduro to beware of people in his inner circle who might be looking to betray him.
Cabello himself seems to be a pretty rotten guy, with U.S. officials accusing him of being pretty big in drug trafficking circles. Cabello denies that, of course, but he was recently found to have millions stashed away overseas in what I assume is something a little shadier than a retirement fund. He has a ton of influence over the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, and he could very well be one of the folks Rubio hinted at as being ready to knife Maduro and take his spot one day.
If you check out this video, you’ll see why Rubio is the guy you go to for Venezuela, and why they would have a problem with him.
Marco Rubio scares the living hell out of Latin American dictatorships and their corrupt politicians, and now they want to get rid of him. Cheer Rubio on and say a prayer for him, because it takes guts to keep doing what he’s doing with all this going on.