Diosdado Cabello, the vice president of the ruling PSUV party, spoke today on his weekly television show about Colombia, drug trafficking and the United States, among other topics.
Without providing any kind of evidence, Cabello accused the Colombian government of asking the United States to invade Venezuela in order to open drug trafficking routes in the country. Cabello said:
They [Colombia] are fighting with Venezuela, and from the highest level of the Colombian government they’re asking with lots of insistence for the United State or any foreign power to invade [Venezuela], to see if they can traffic drugs through Venezuela, but we will not allow it. We will not allow that garbage to pass through out territory.
Cabello has been repeatedly implicated as being a leading member of the Cartel de Los Soles, a drug cartel that operates inside the Venezuelan military.
These allegations date back to at least 2015, when the Wall Street Journal reported that Cabello had helped to turn Venezuela into “a global hub for cocaine trafficking and money laundering”. Similarly, a 2018 investigation by InSight Crime pegged Cabello as a being linked to the Cartel, alongside his brother Jose David.
On Cabello, the InSight Crime report said:
Diosdado Cabello is touted as either the second-most powerful figure in the Venezuela regime, or the puppet master — the power behind Maduro. Either way, with his influence over the appointment of officials to key posts, especially within the military, there is no way that he is not aware of the drug trafficking dynamics in the country. Sources in the US Justice Department spoke to InSight Crime about Cabello on condition of anonymity.
“Look, this guy is up to his neck in all sorts of illegal activity in Venezuela and we are building a case against him. But he knows how to protect himself and keep a distance from the dirty work,” said the source.
During his show, Cabello went on to say that Venezuela had “nothing to do” with drug production, and promised that any drugs found in the country would be “seized and destroyed”.
22 National Assembly Deputies in Regime Sights
The National Assembly provided a list today of opposition deputies whose diplomatic immunity has been stripped by the Maduro regime, opening them up for arrest and prosecution.
The list grew by two today, as reports from opposition sources claimed that deputies Tomas Guanipa and Jose Guerra have had their immunity stripped by the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (Supreme Court, TSJ). The TSJ has yet to formally announce its decision, if it has in fact made it.
Below, the National Assembly list of deputies with stripped immunity:
Three New Bills Entering Circulation
The Banco Central de Venezuela (Venezuelan Central Bank, BCV) will begin circulating three new bills in the country starting tomorrow, the first time since August of last year when the new currency–Bolivares Soberanos–came into effect,
According to the BCV website, the new bills have a value of Bs. 10,000, Bs. 20,000, and Bs. 50,000.
The bills can be seen below:
At the current black market rate (Bs. 6,474.44/USD), the bills are worth $1.54, $3.08, and $7.72, respectively.
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