President of the National Assembly and the PSUV’s number-two man Diosdado Cabello went on the offensive against media outlets today, as he threatened legal action over coverage of the Leamsy Salazar case.

Late last month, Spain’s ABC newspaper reporter that a former close ally of Chavez and Cabello, Leamsy Salazar, had escaped Venezuela and was co-operating with the D.E.A. on a case involving Cabello. According to the story, Salazar accused Cabello of heading a drug cartel. The story was widely reported by Venezuelan media.

Today, Cabello went on television to announce that he was taking legal action against a number of media outlets over the reporting of the story.

Cabello was interviewed by Televen’s Jose Vicente Rangel. During the interview, Cabello said:

They’re accusing me of being the head of a cartel. I’m very firm. I met with my family and I told them that I was going to take legal action against the owners of the media [outlets that reporter the story] and they have to prove with evidence what they said. I will defend myself because I have a family and this generates uncertainty.
I’m very careful when it comes to the issue of human rights, and drug trafficking is disgusting… But in this case, these are evil accusations, and I’ve announced legal action against the newspaper ABC de Madrid over the news. I don’t know if the Spanish justice system works, but I will do the best I can.

Cabello pointed out that he found it strange that while the report stated that Salazar was a protected D.E.A. witness, the newspaper had nevertheless revealed his identity. “A protected witness means you protect him, not expose him”, Cabello said.

During the same interview, Cabello said that he was glad that the February 4 1992 coup had failed, because none of the conspirators had a plan for governing the country if they succeeded:

When we were arrested, we said, ‘Good thing we didn’t succeed’, because we didn’t have any kind of vision at all.

Polar Trucks Released; 1 Still Detained

Five out of the six Polar trucks illegally seized by the government yesterday in Barinas state have been released, according to Polar.

Ten trucks full of basic necessities were detained last night in Barinas by security officials for apparently no reason. Four were allowed to continue on their way, while six others were seized. Officials at the site said that their cargo would be sent to a state-owned distribution centre.

Polar is now expecting the sixth truck to be released relatively soon.


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