The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 26 May 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on May 26, 2015

 The Rendon Group Snapshot Report

 

(26MAY15)

 

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

 

Allegations Against Diosdado Cabello

 

 

(Reuters)

 

 

This week’s snapshot will focus on allegations against Diosdado Cabello, president of Venezuela’s National Assembly and the second most powerful member of the regime. Investigations by U.S. officials have linked Cabello and other prominent Venezuelan officials to cocaine trafficking and money laundering, according to a May 18 report by the Wall Street Journal.


News Summary of events during the week of 18MAY15 – 26MAY15

   18MAY15: Reports said U.S. authorities are investigating Venezuela’s powerful parliamentary head, Diosdado Cabello, and other senior officials for possible cocaine trafficking and money laundering (Reuters)

   19MAY15: Cabello fiercely denied any involvement in the drug trade, saying that he would never do anything that could hurt the South American country’s young people. (AP)

   20MAY15: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that anyone messing with Cabello is messing with him (EFE)

   21MAY15: Chavists launched a collective defense campaign against international news reports implicating Cabello in drug-trafficking and organized crime networks. (EFE)

   24MAY15: Jackson Diehl from the Washington Post opined the drug trafficking charges against Cabello could hurt his standing and the Venezuelan government’s standing with international partners. (WP)


Samples of Twitter handles regarding allegations against Diosdado Cabello

    @alekboyd – Alex Boyd, Investigative Blogger

   @Jose_deCordoba – Jose de Cordoba, Latin America Correspondent for The Wall Street Journal

   @WSJForero – Juan Forero, South America Bureau Chief at The Wall Street Journal

   @AlexandraUlmer – Alexandra Ulmer, Reporter with Reuters in Venezuela

   @danielduquenal – Daniel Duquenal, Editor of Venezuela News and Views

 

Samples of Third Party Validators regarding allegations against Diosdado Cabello

 Bruce Bagley, University of Maryland drug expert

“Maduro and Cabello need one another…The stability of the government hangs on the continued support from the army, and there’s so much corruption in the Venezuelan military, that they know that if they don’t hang together, they will be either tried by a new government or extradited.”

          Andres Oppenheimer: U.S. drug probe won’t topple Venezuela Regime, Miami Herald, 20MAY15

 

Luis Vicente Leon, head of Caracas-based Datanalisis polling form

“Whether it’s true or not, this study has been heard many times in Venezuela…It may have an impact among the elites, but the people on the street can’t tell the difference between The Wall Street Journal and some obscure website where they may have read this in the past.”

          Andres Oppenheimer: U.S. drug probe won’t topple Venezuela regime, 20MAY2015, Miami Herald

Steven Dudley, InSight Crime

“The leaders of big Colombian gangs have turned Venezuela into their base.”

            Venezuela drug trade rings alarm bells, Reuters, 12DEC14

 

Juan Carlos Hidalgo, Cato Institute drug-war specialist and policy analyst

I don’t see how a DEA report involving him with drug smuggling could affect his position [in Venezuela], just like it didn’t happen with other army officers that the United States singled out as drug lords in Venezuela.”

            Cartel Kingpin or Not, Diosdado Revelation Unlikely to Dethrone, PanAm Post, 28JAN15

 

Luz Mely Reyes, Director and Co-Founder of Efecto Cocuyo

“To involve the president of the National Assembly has huge political and legal implications. [But] one person’s testimony is not enough to determine his culpability.”

            Cartel Kingpin or Not, Diosdado Revelation Unlikely to Dethrone, PanAm Post, 28JAN15

 

 

Samples of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to allegations against Diosdado Cabello

 

1.                  Venezuelan Officials Suspected of Turning Country into Global Cocaine Hub

Media: The Wall Street Journal

Byline: Jose de Cordoba and Juan Forero

Date: 18 May 2015

U.S. prosecutors are investigating several high-ranking Venezuelan officials, including the president of the country’s congress, on suspicion that they have turned the country into a global hub for cocaine trafficking and money laundering, according to more than a dozen people familiar with the probes.

An elite unit of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington and federal prosecutors in New York and Miami are building cases using evidence provided by former cocaine traffickers, informants who were once close to top Venezuelan officials and defectors from the Venezuelan military, these people say.

 

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2.                  U.S. probing Venezuelan officials for possible drug trafficking: WSJ

Media: Reuters

Byline: N/A

Date: 18 May 2015

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities are investigating Venezuela’s powerful parliamentary head, Diosdado Cabello, and other senior officials for possible cocaine trafficking and money laundering, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

 

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3.                  Venezuela’s No. 2 denies any involvement in drug trafficking

Media: AP

Byline: N/A

Date: 19 May 2015

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The powerful leader of Venezuela’s congress is fiercely denying any involvement in the drug trade.

National Assembly chief Diosdado Cabello said Tuesday that he would never do anything that could hurt the South American country’s young people.

 

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4.                  UPDATE: Maduro says anyone messing with Diosdado Cabello is messing with him

Media: EFE (Spain)

Byline: N/A

Date: 20 May 2015

Caracas May 20 (EFE).- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that anyone messing with National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello is messing with him, after an article in a U.S. newspaper alleged Cabello is being investigated in the United States for links to drug-trafficking.

 

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5.                  U.S. drug probe won’t topple Venezuela regime

Media: Miami Herald

Byline: Andres Oppenheimer

Date: 20 May 2015

May 20–There has been a lot of excitement among critics of Venezuela’s authoritarian populist government about new reports confirming that U.S. authorities are investigating Venezuela’s No. 2 official on drug trafficking charges, but — unfortunately — the news will have very little political impact in that country.

 

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6.                  UPDATE: Chavists band together to defend Venezuelan parliament head Diosdado Cabello

Media: EFE (Spain)

Byline: Indira Guerrero

Date: 21 May 2015

Caracas, May 21 (EFE).- Chavists have launched a collective defense campaign against international news reports implicating Diosdado Cabello, president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, in drug-trafficking and organized crime networks.

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