Diosdado Cabello gave an interview today to the Colombian radio station Blu Radio in which he continued to deny the allegations published in yesterday’s ABC. Calling the allegations an attack on the revolution, Cabello said:
In this case, the attack is directed towards me personally, but it actually has more to do with the Bolivarian revolution than me.
Contrary to an assertion made by the article yesterday, Cabello said that while Salazar had been at one point employed by his office, he had never been his head of security:
He did work for us for some time. This is verifiable (…) It’s not true that he was my head of security. He doesn’t have anything to do with my security, but that’s what ABC de España wants the world to read.
Cabello also claimed that he had fired Salazar back in June, since he suspected that he was up to something:
He [Salazar] refused to look me in the eye, and that’s why I requested that he be changed with someone else so that he could go take some courses. He didn’t want to continue studying and he deserted in December, I think, to hand over his dignity to North American imperialism.
Taking a more darker turn, Cabello suggested that Salazar might murdered Chavez’s, and that he was certain that Salazar was some kind of secret agent placed in close proximity to Chavez by an unnamed enemy:
It’s very sad that this person [Salazar] was allowed to be so close to Chavez. — let’s think about what happened to Commander Chavez. Let’s think that he didn’t do anything to cause Chavez’s death, but if he did do it, it’s very sad.
I have no doubt that he infiltrated [the government]. There were always rumours that someone in the navy was giving away information, that’s a conclusion that was reached after a lot of security meetings…
Chavez died in hospital on March 5, 2013 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Neither Chavez nor the Venezuelan government ever gave any details about the illness. An e-mail from the global intelligence firm Stratfor leaked through Wikileaks suggests that the tumour began to grow near his prostate, and then spread to his colon, lymph nodes and bone marrow.
Video of Chavez Praising Salazar Surfaces
A video taken from a nationally televised speech by Hugo Chavez shows the late Venezuelan leader praising Leamsy Salazar, the man alleged to have accused Diosdado Cabello of heading a drug cartel, as a brave soldier. The video, with my translation, can be seen below:
Chavez: One of these young men up here [pointing to photograph]. This was on the 12th [of April, 2002], in the afternoon. There were some cloud already, a little dark. It was around dusk, right? Lieutenant Salazar Villafaña was there, and Sergeant Javier Huerfano. Where are they? [Asking Salazar] Salazar, where you up there?
Salazar: Yes sir.
Chavez: Which one are you, Salazar?
Salazar: I had the flag.
Chavez: The one with the flag! [Crowd applauds] Salazar Villafaña! Salazar is a humble, great marine. At that time, what was your rank?
Salazar: Frigate Lieutenant.
Chavez: Frigate Lieutenant. You were already a lieutenant?
Salazar: Yes sir.
Chavez: Lieutenant… and he’s from the marine commandos, the marine infantry. Well, here’s the lieutenant, Salazar Villafaña. Sergeant Javier Huerfano — where are you, Huerfano? Were you already a sergeant then?
Huerfano: Second Sergeant, commander.
Chavez: Where you in this crowd?
Huerfano: Yes, commander.
Chavez: Well, many of them stayed with us. They’re sergeants, professionals. Others went back to their homes when they completed their military service. They served their homeland. Be proud, boys. The people recognize you as very dignified soldiers, very dignified soldiers.
Maduro Attends CELAC Meeting
Leaders from the Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC) are meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica today to discuss some of the issues facing the region.
At the start of the meeting, Maduro had a chance to meet his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos. Despite often speaking in a fiery tone about Santos, Maduro seemed light-hearted at the meeting: