El Nuevo Herald published an article today in which it claims that the daughter of the ruling PSUV party’s number-two man, Diosdado Cabello, was recently deported from the United States, and that the U.S. government has seized $800 million worth of assets belonging to Cabello. The article says that the news broke from a Miami-based journalist named Oscar Haza, who received the information from “important sources” inside the U.S. government.

As of the writing of this update, the U.S. government has not issued an official response to the article. El Nuevo Herald has not been able to independently confirm the story.

Haza made the revelations today during a radio show which he hosts. He said that among Cabello’s seized assets were 12 real estate properties, once of which is allegedly located facing New York’s Central Park.

Haza also said that Cabello’s adult daughter, Daniella, was prevented from entering the U.S. some time in the near past by customs officials at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, who then put her in an airplane bound for Caracas.

Cabello responded to the story on Twitter, calling it “lies” from the right-wing enemies of the Bolivarian Revolution. Cabello said:

The right wing is once against desperately making up and believing their own lies, now they’re involving my daughter, according to the [right wing] media Diosdado Cabello “had” 800 million dollars seized and they deported Daniella [Cabello’s daughter], another lie, more infamy. We Will Win!!!

In a tongue-in-cheek tone typical of Cabello, he then joked about making the mistake of having assets in the U.S. in the first place:

I’m so dumb, having 800 million dollars in the USA and also exposing my daughter to that country so that she could supposedly take a tour of the USA congress, please have a little more imagination with your lies gentlemen, at least try please

Later in the day, Cabello appeared in a televised interview in which he said anyone who believed the story of his daughter’s deportation and his assets’ seizure is a bolsa, a Venezuelan word that roughly translates into “idiot”. Cabello said:

Did you see how Daniella was deported from New York Today? Those who believe that I’d send my daughter to New York despite loving her so much are idiots. That’s crazy talk, that I have $800 million in the United States.

During the same interview, Cabello said that “there isn’t even a single picture” providing evidence that any of the claims regarding his alleged assets abroad actually exist.

Malnourished, Beloved Elephant Dies

Ruperta, a 48-year old elephant that lived in the Caricuao Zoo in Caracas, has died today of ill health after months of malnutrition. Ruperta became a striking sign of the Venezuelan crisis after images surfaced online last year showing the emaciated elephant with ribs clearly visible through her thin torso struggling to stay alive in the zoo.

The images and link below show Ruperta in recent months:

In April of last year, Maduro hosted a television show inside the Caricuao Zoo in an attempt to refute the claims that Ruperta was suffering. At that time, he called reports that Ruperta was suffering from malnutrition “a show”, and that any suggestion that she was was part of the “psychological war” he claims Venezuela’s enemies are waging against him.

Ruperta’s ill health resulted in her collapse at least five times last year.

According to El Pitazo, a group of ecologists and concerned residents had petitioned the Maduro government to allow Ruperta to be transferred to an animal sanctuary in Brazil where she could enjoy a better quality of life. The request was evidently ignored by the regime.

EDO, a Venezuelan political cartoonist, dedicated an image today to Ruperta’s death. The image shows Ruperta’s corpse rotting on the floor in the same of Venezuela:

The death of Ruperta is the death of a country #RIP

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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