On Venezuela, Marco Rubio is over the target

There was plenty of reason to get the creeps from a new report from the Miami Herald suggesting that Venezuela's Chavista thugs are targeting Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for a death-squad hit.  According to the Herald:

One of Venezuela's most powerful leaders may have put out an order to kill Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a fervent critic of the South American country's government, according to intelligence obtained by the U.S. last month.

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.

My top Venezuelan source doesn't think it's true, sending me the message:

Diosdado is a thug BUT not the most stupid of thugs. Doubt this story very very much.

After all, an assassination of a U.S. senator would almost certainly guarantee a U.S. invasion of that communist hellhole run by Cuba.  And President Trump brought up that distinct possibility last week.  All the same, absent any new information, I am going to disagree.

Marco Rubio, as I have noted several times at American Thinker, has done a bang-up job hitting Chavista elites where it hurts.  He and his associates have targeted Chavista money through sanctions and shut down their access to trips to Disney World through pulled visas.  The Chavistas, for all their hatred of America and its currency, have screamed bloody murder at losing this particular rice bowl.  Diosdado Cabello, the Venezuelan official behind the supposed threat, is probably the most corrupt of all of them, outside Maduro himself and the surviving family of the late Hugo Chávez.  The hand of Rubio has been obvious in all of President Trump's moves to shut down the Chavista gravy train in the states.  Rubio himself has stood by Trump's side as Trump has met with top dissidents such as Liliana López, the wife of imprisoned dissident opposition leader Leopoldo López, sending a message to Caracas. 

The Herald also reports that Rubio has drawn extra security.  The Capitol Police and other police agencies have sent extra security detail in the wake of the threat, reported by U.S. intelligence to protect Rubio from the Chavista thugs in this age of violence on dissent.  After all, a U.S. member of Congress has already been targeted for assassination by a crazed lunatic.  Such lowerings of the bar give Chavistas ideas.

Third, the Chavistas have gone way over the line already overseas.  Back in 2014, Chavista thugs broke into the apartment of Venezuelan dissident Alek Boyd and left threatening notes to him and his family.  They also engaged in a smear campaign to discredit him and sent him a horrible letter postmarked from Tbilisi, Georgia.  It was freakish and creepy stuff, and it was likely related to his attempt to expose the corruption of Derwick Associates, which he alleges handed bribes to Cabello and which hired Fusion GPS to do "opposition research."  The point here is that they have already slid deep into the realm of the sub-legal and illegal overseas.  What's an attack on Rubio after such practice?  Read Boyd's disturbing account of the matter here.

That brings up the big question mark: who is Diosdado Cabello?

Wikipedia has a decent summary of the Chavista socialist leader's history, and it's not attractive.  I will sum up the salient points:

When we say "Chavista thug," the name "Diosdado Cabello" easily comes to mind.  He's an early associate of Chávez, who drove tanks in support of Chávez during his 1992 military coup d'état attempt, something that got him thrown into prison for a couple of years alongside Chávez, although he escaped charges.

He's held every major job it's possible to hold in the Chavista empire, from governor to vice president to Assembly speaker to running the electricity company and much more.  Each stepping stone was an opportunity to line his pockets.  He's also a drug dealer who has been sanctioned for his role in the drug trade; reputedly, he's the chief of the Sun Cartel of Venezuelan generals who run drugs in the country.  He's corrupt beyond belief, with the CIA calling him one of the worst ones.

He's also a sleazy practitioner of bugging political opponents and playing his tapes (no doubt provided by the Cubans) on his state television show, called the "sledgehammer."

He presided over the National Assembly when opposition lawmakers were literally beaten.

He was the founder of the Bolivarian Circles, which have since degenerated into the "Colectivos" – the filthy street thugs on motorcycles who randomly shoot into opposition rallies.

That's who he is.

Did he order a hit on Rubio?  Based on what we know, and based on this being the Götterdämmerung of the Chavista regime, the threat is believable.  Cornered rats sometimes take desperate acts, and Cabello is a cornered rat.

The implications of this, if true, are serious.  It would be interference with our democracy unlike any other.  It would be perfectly good grounds for an invasion as well, but we all know how dictatorships since the Obama years have operated reasonably confidently in the belief that they can get away with anything.  In that case, it may well be that the threat is real.  If the CIA has more information on this, this is a case for making it public so America can operate with as free a hand as is needed under these dire circumstances.

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