HomeNewsBriefUS Mulls Sanctions Against Venezuela's Diosdado Cabello
BRIEF

US Mulls Sanctions Against Venezuela's Diosdado Cabello

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 27 FEB 2018 BY VENEZUELA INVESTIGATIVE UNIT EN

The United States could impose sanctions on the second most powerful person in Venezuela, according to a diplomat at the US embassy in the country, a sign that the Trump administration will continue using such measures to pressure officials who support the regime of President Nicolás Maduro.

In an interview with Runrun.es, Todd Robinson, a senior diplomat at the US embassy in Caracas, explained that Diosdado Cabello, vice president of Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela – PSUV) and ex-president of parliament, has not yet been included on the list of sanctioned government officials because a rigorous investigation must first be conducted.

"But that doesn't mean we're not going to touch him ... We're working on that, but Mr. Cabello is on the Canadian and European Union lists. We're working as a team with our partners in the international community and will continue to do so," Robinson told Runrun.es.

The accusations against Cabello regarding his possible links with the drug trade and the Cartel of the Suns (Cartel de los Soles) -- an umbrella term for corruption and drug trafficking within Venezuela's military -- have grown stronger since 2015, when his former security chief linked him to drug trafficking when speaking to the authorities in the United States.

Rumors that Cabello could be added to the list soon have circulated before.

InSight Crime Analysis

Despite the accusations against him, Cabello has so far escaped US sanctions for human rights violations, drug trafficking or undermining democracy, unlike Vice President Tareck El Aissami and President Maduro.

Furthermore, Cabello may not be the second most powerful person in the Venezuelan government; it has been said multiple times that it is he who makes the decisions. He is a fundamental figure at the heart of the Maduro regime, and was one of former president Hugo Chávez's most loyal supporters. He has a long history in the military, and his position in national politics is a determining factor.

He is considered one of Chavismo's most fervent supporters. He controls the National Intelligence Service (Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional – SEBIN), which has been accused of committing innumerable human rights violations including torture, arbitrary detention and extrajudicial executions.

        SEE ALSO: Venezuela News and Profiles

For his part, Todd Robinson is a career diplomat coming from a previous post as US ambassador to Guatemala. He is currently in Caracas to help with the "return of democracy in Venezuela," and his work focuses on negotiation.

"I would say we cannot afford to disqualify any sector from negotiations for a better Venezuela. Clearly the military sector has a lot of influence on the future of the country, and if they can help, we're not going to say no," said Robinson in what was the first interview offered by a US diplomat in Venezuela since Maduro came to power in 2013.

But Robinson also trusts in the sanctions' effectiveness and is sure they "are working out very well."

This is why negotiations over a solution to the conflict in Venezuela -- in which Robinson, fresh off a decisive anti-corruption effort in Guatemala, seems to be an influential participant -- could be directly affected by the threat of possible sanctions against Cabello.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 3 AUG 2015

Allegations that a prominent Argentine politician played a top role in an ephedrine trafficking ring raises the possibility that the…

BOLIVIA / 13 MAY 2021

Smuggling networks are feeding illegal mining operations across the Amazon Basin with mercury, despite global efforts to clamp down on…

COLOMBIA / 12 MAY 2022

The assassination of a crusading Paraguayan prosecutor while on honeymoon in Colombia has caused widespread alarm about the rising levels…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…