A Venezuelan politician may have ordered a plot to assassinate Florida Senator Marco Rubio last month, according to a memo disseminated to law enforcement sources from the Department of Homeland Security.

Out of precaution, Rubio has had an increased security detail since details of the threat emerged, according to the Miami Herald. He was seen with the additional security personnel on July 19 at a Senate hearing where he called Diosdado Cabello, a Venezuelan politician who reportedly runs the state security service, the “Pablo Escobar of Venezuela”.

Cabello and Rubio have had an ongoing Twitter feud over the last month, where Rubio has frequently called Cabello a drug lord and criminal, saying he will “have to face justice for [his] crimes.” Rubio has been vocal and highly critical over the crisis in Venezuela and the actions taken by the socialist government under Nicolas Maduro.

In response, Cabello has started referring to Rubio as “Narco Rubio”, and insisting the Senator is spreading lies about the regime to the Venezuelan people.
According to the Herald, there was indeed an order to assassinate Rubio, but “no specific information regarding an assassination plot against Senator Rubio has been garnered thus far.” Although the memo did speculate that Cabello could have contacted “unspecified Mexican nationals” as part of the plan.

In the past Cabello has been subject to US investigations over his connection with drug trafficking. He had a close relationship with former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, joining him in the 1992 military coup in Venezuela. He is highly influential in the government and has been for years. Now, Cabello is part of the National Constituent Assembly, a legislative body recently established by Maduro through an election which international observers have decried a sham. Referring to his shady political connections, influence, and manipulation, The Atlantic referred to Cabello as the “Frank Underwood” of Venezuela, a reference to the corrupt American politician character from the fictional show “House of Cards”.

Rubio has reportedly been afforded an increased security detail by the U.S. Capital Police while in Washington D.C., and from local law enforcement agencies while back in Florida.

Image courtesy of Senate.gov