Venezuelan leader put a hit on Marco Rubio: report

A Venezuelan lawmaker may have put out a kill order on Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenators highlight national security threats from China during rare public hearing Rubio presses DNI to investigate alleged unmasking of Tucker Carlson Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal MORE (R-Fla.), the Miami Herald reported Sunday.

Diosdado Cabello, an influential leader from the state's ruling socialist party, is believed to be behind the alleged death threat, according to the report, which cited intelligence obtained by the U.S. last month.

Though uncorroborated, federal authorities reportedly took the threat seriously. Rubio's increased security detail was first spotted at a July 19 Senate hearing and have been following the senator the past several weeks in both Washington and Miami.

Last month, a memo from the Department of Homeland Security was sent to several law enforcement agencies outlining the possible threat against Rubio.


The Miami newspaper obtained the memo that described an “order to have Senator Rubio assassinated." It also noted that Rubio and Cabello have publicly attacked each other with words in the past.

Rubio has vocally criticized the former military chief for being a ruthless drug trafficker, calling Cabello “the Pablo Escobar of Venezuela." Cabello shot back by calling the Florida senator "Narco Rubio” in a tweet last week.

The document also reportedly said the threat had not been verified as real. “No specific information regarding an assassination plot against Senator Rubio has been garnered thus far," it reads, according to the report.

Cabello, according to the memo, could have gone as far as recruiting “unspecified Mexican nationals” to help carry out his assassination order against Rubio.

The document was marked “law enforcement sensitive,” not classified, the newspaper reported.

The Venezuelan Embassy in Washington declined the Herald's requests for comment on Saturday, as did a spokeswoman for Rubio.

The newspaper's attempts to reach Cabello, through some of his email addresses, were not immediately returned. The Capitol Police have also not responded to the newspaper's requests for comment on the matter.