Photo: El Carabobeño

Diosdado Cabello Rondón, former vice-president, Interior minister, Miranda governor, Infrastructure minister, National Assembly speaker, deputy, PSUV vice-president and a close friend of the Venezuelan Armed Forces has been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in Executive Order 13692.

Three other individuals in Diosdado’s circle were also sanctioned: his brother, José David Cabello, his wife, Marleny Contreras, current Tourism minister, and Rafael Sarría Díaz. Assets owned by Mr. Sarría were also listed, since he was designated for acting as Diosdado’s front man.

The statement on the U.S. Treasury website reads:

“These designations reflect the commitment of the United States to use every available diplomatic and economic tool to hold accountable corrupt officials and support the Venezuelan people’s efforts to restore their democracy.  The United States will continue to take appropriate action, including designating persons for sanctions, to respond to the situation in Venezuela as it develops. U.S. sanctions need not be permanent; they are intended to change behavior.  However, we would consider lifting sanctions for persons sanctioned under E.O. 13692 that take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses and speak out against abuses committed by the government, and combat corruption in Venezuela.”

You can read the full statement here.

Since the first chavistas were sanctioned by U.S. Treasury there has been a lot of speculation on why Diosdado hadn’t been touched yet. Some believed that the U.S. was leaving a window open to have someone to negotiate within the regime. It’s clear that the window has finally been closed.

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  1. But still, they keep a window of last resort, “However, we would consider lifting sanctions for persons sanctioned under E.O. 13692 that take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses and speak out against abuses committed by the government, and combat corruption in Venezuela.”

  2. “current Tourism minister” … That’s got to be a crazy busy ministry, what with all those tourists … Oh, wait.

  3. The U.S. Treasury link is quite interesting. It does beg the question, why did they delay doing this, particularly when they went after others associated with the same or similar activities quite some time ago?

    I am sure there is an interesting explanation. And wouldn’t it be great to see their source material. The gringos must have quite a few good people in their employ who speak really good Venezolano…

  4. I agree with Cnuckles (so the end of the world will be tonight). The treasury report is quite a read, and really begs the question of why they waited until now to put The Diosdado on their shitlist. Trying to turn him against El Salami and Mad Ernie, or trying to get El Salami and Md Ernie to think they were trying to turn him against him?

    “In addition to money laundering and illegal mineral exports, Cabello is also directly involved in narcotics trafficking activities. Working with current Venezuelan Executive Vice President Tareck El Aissami (El Aissami), whom OFAC designated pursuant to the Kingpin Act on February 13, 2017, Cabello organizes drug shipments being moved from Venezuela through the Dominican Republic, and onwards to Europe. Cabello also directs Pedro Luis Martin Olivares, who was designated pursuant to the Kingpin Act on May 7, 2018, in illicit activities. In late 2016, Cabello and Martin worked together to move illicit money to Panama, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas. As of March 2017, Cabello seized drug loads from small-scale drug traffickers, and combined and exported them through a Venezuelan government-owned airport. Cabello, along with President Maduro and others, divided proceeds from these narcotics shipments. Also as of early 2017, Cabello demanded information from the Venezuelan government bureaucracy about wealthy individuals who had made large purchases, which may have helped him identify other drug traffickers, money launderers, and competitors, for the purposes of stealing their drugs and property, and eliminating the competition.”

  5. If Cabello’s assets are in Russia, then Cabello is in Putin’s pocket. Putin can then get whatever he wants in Venezuela. I see the Russian influence increasing in Venezuela.

    • The nutty thing about this is that there’s nothing for Russia to influence any more. VZ is such a basketcase, the question is…

      What can they possibly do to make it less of a basketcase? And what the hell are they going to get out of it?

      Russia has made this same mistake for decades. It’s retarded, really. They pump tons of money into certain places, and get nothing out of it.

      It’s not like they can even use their Communist ideology as an excuse, because they’re hardly Communist.

      They’re just acting stupid.

  6. There must be a rational explanation for the delay in him being sanctioned.
    It was too obvious that the US withheld sanctioning him while other countries included him in their sanctions.
    Perhaps activity from his accounts revealed other places money was hidden, other people involved in his criminal activity or some other reason.
    I will bet a Big Mac or two that the US has sealed indictments out on many of the regimes inner circle.
    Someday, somewhere, when they least expect it, they are going to be grabbed and extradited to the US.

    • They would be extremely foolish to travel anywhere outside of several select countries. Hopefully a few of them are.

    • It’s becoming more evident that you’re right.

      Erdogan is clearly just another dictator now, and birds of a feather flock together. I can imagine Maduro and high-ranking Chavistas thinking, “Well, I can always escape to Turkey.”

      And Erdogan and his Kabul thinking, “Well, I can always get asylum in VZ.”

      It’s fucking hysterical, but thankfully, the U.S. has a president now who isn’t taking any bullshit from either of these shmucks.

      I don’t understand why Erdogan even wasted his time trying to get Turkey into the EU. A leopard can’t change its spots, and he should have known his behavior and policies would be considered totally unacceptable to the Commission.


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