Things are getting more heated between Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Venezuela’ Diosdado Cabello.
According to a Miami Herald report, Cabello “may have put out an order” to kill Rubio, who’s been exceptionally critical of the Venezuelan government and its noted desire to turn into a dictatorship. The story cited intelligence reports acquired by the United States in July.
Authorities couldn’t determine if the threat was credible, but treated it as though it was, the article stated. That means Rubio has been guarded by additional security detail recently while in Miami and Washington D.C. for the last few weeks.
Cabello, a former military chief from the country’s ruling socialist party, has publicly feuded with Rubio on multiple occasions.
Here’s what you need to know about Rubio and Cabello:
1. The Threat Was Written in a Memo
According to The Herald article, the threat was found in a memo that by the Department of Homeland Security and was designated as being “law enforcement sensitive.”
The memo laid out the order to have the senator assassinated, though “no specific information regarding an assassination plot against Senator Rubio has been garnered thus far,” and the U.S. didn’t verify the threat.
The memo stated that Cabello may have done as far to contact Mexican nationals to kill Rubio.
2. Rubio Has Called Cabello the ‘Pablo Escobar of Venezuela’
Rubio has been extremely vocal about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, condemning the country and its president, Nicolas Maduro.
Rubio has repeatedly referred to Cabello as being ‘the Pablo Escobar of Venezeula,” first doing so during a mid-July interview with The Herald.
On July 19 during a Senate hearing, Rubio repeated the phrase.
“(Cabello) is not simply a political leader, he is, in my view, the Pablo Escobar of Venezuela today,” Rubio said. “He is a narco trafficker.”
3. Rubio Has Consistently Called for Sanctions Against Cabello & Other Officials
Rubio has been vocal about the reported corruption, human rights violations and drug trafficking taking place in the Latin American country. He’s linked Cabello to drug trafficking on numerous occasions and has questioned why the country hasn’t blocked the entry of Cabello, along with Tareck El Aissami, another official he sees as a drug trafficker.
Rubio called for sanctions on the government officials.
It is worth mentioning another number of Venezuelan officials who have plundered state-owned companies, stealing from the people of the country, while many people are looking for food on the streets.
We have approved on numerous occasions different tools now available for administration. For example, the Law for the Defense of Civil Society and Human Rights in Venezuela, which we are trying to reauthorize, gives the administration the power to punish human rights violators and those involved in corruption.
Rubio’s pleas were answered somewhat when the U.S. slapped sanctions on Maduro personally on July 31. The sanctions accused Maduro of human rights abuses, froze his assets and banned him from doing business with Americans.
4. Cabello Worked Under Hugo Chavez
Cabello is a member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and is a former speaker in country’s legislature. He’s a current member of the Venezuelan armed forces.
Cabello was instrumental in the regime of former president Hugo Chavez, being a big factor in his return to power in 2002 after an attempted military coup. Cabello led a group of four tanks to attack a palace, and he was thrown into jail for his participation but was later pardoned after two years.
In 2011, Chavez named Cabello as the vice president of the country’s ruling party, PSUV, and he was elected the president of the National Assembly of Venezuela in 201.
5. Rubio ‘Has Trump’s Ear’ in Latin America
The crisis in Venezuela has been followed by Rubio, and he’s one of the people President Donald Trump turns to for the latest. That’s because, as a June 26 article in the Miami Herald said, Trump “has a distasted for the State Department and its legions of diplomats tasked with crafting the nation’s foreign policy.”
Rubio has set up meetings with Venezuelan figures with Trump, including one with Lilian Tintori, a human rights activist whose husband is a political prisoner.
It hasn’t only been Venezuela, though. Rubio has also helped change the current administration’s policy on Cuba.
“They’ve asked for my input on basically every issue in Latin America and the Western Hemisphere and — we’ve been engaged with them and they’ve been very open,” Rubio said to the newspaper. “In some ways, the fact that they didn’t come in with preconceived ideas of what to do has created the space for that debate to occur.”