Yesterday, the Miami Herald released a shocking report. Although uncorroborated at this time, American law enforcement officials believe that a foreign politician sought to use Mexican “hitmen” against an American Senator.
According to the report, Venezuelan politician Diosdado Cabello considered ordering an assassination on Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). The Herald claims that Rubio took this threat seriously enough that he began beefing up his security detail last month.
It appears that the conflict between Rubio and Carbello began when Rubio began accusing Carbello, a former official in the Venezuelan Army, of being a drug trafficker. Rubio has called Carbello the “Pablo Escobar of Venezuela.” Carbello shot back on Twitter by dubbing Mr. Rubio “Narco Marco.”
This war of words has an added dimension that could affect American foreign policy. It seems that Rubio is in the ear of President Trump when it comes to America’s response to the ongoing political unrest in Venezuela. Rubio has called Venezuela a “personal priority” for President Trump.
It should also be noted that Rubio’s accusations against Cabello and the United Socialist Party that he represents are backed by several federal agencies. The country’s current vice president, Tarek El Aissami, is a known drug lord with ties to international drug traffickers.
American officials believe that besides abusing the country’s sizable oil deposits, the socialist government of Nicolas Maduro relies on drug traffickers to keep his government afloat.
Despite the presence of armed “Colectivo” militiamen, and despite the constant threat of violence, Venezuelan citizens have been protesting President Maduro’s regime for almost the entirety of 2017. In May, because of the ongoing political violence, Mr. Maduro’s public support stood at an abysmal 26.8 percent. Another 68.9 percent believe that Maduro should leave office before the end of 2017.
Some members of the Venezuelan police and army have taken matters into their own hands. Pro-opposition police officers used a hijacked police helicopter to strafe Venezuela’s Supreme Court and Interior Ministry. Also, before being put down, an army unit publicly mutinied against the Caracas government.
Due to all this unrest, President Trump told reporters last week that Washington has not ruled out a “military option” in Venezuela. Many fear that this call for an American invasion could bolster Maduro’s flagging support. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has criticized Trump’s invocation of American military action as the wrong way to approach the crisis.
Given how unpopular the United States is in most of Latin America, President Santos is probably right to worry that Trump’s threats may actually help to keep Maduro in power.
Venezuela has been a hotbed of socialist corruption and violent political intimidation for decades. Do you believe that violent threats from Venezuela against US officials should be taken seriously?
It seems that Cabello’s threat against Rubio was initially uncovered by American intelligence services, who then passed the sensitive information along to the senator. It is quite possible that the socialist government in Venezuela, which appears to be enjoying borrowed time, will lash out in destructive ways. President Trump has already declined one call from Maduro because of his country’s suppression of the democratic rights of its citizens.
The best option going forward would be to continue to support the anti-regime protesters. They are the ones who must remove socialism from Venezuela. An American invasion would only help to unite Venezuelans against an outside aggressor.