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Venezuelan Defector Says National Leader Runs Drug Cartel

A Venezuelan defector says his former boss, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, runs a secret drug cartel.

Leamsy Salazar was a bodyguard and former head of security for Diosdado Cabello, the 2nd most powerful man in Venezeula’s socialist party. Salazar defected from Venezuela last month and is now reportedly cooperating with the DEA on a case against Cabello. Cabello is accused of being the head of a secret drug operation known as the Cartel of the Sun.

President Nicholas Maduro, head of the socialist party that rules Venezuela, immediately backed Cabello and according to Reuters blamed the defection on “imperialist hands.” “Whoever betrays the revolution is facing an inferno of solitude, failure, isolation and repudiation,” Maduro added.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday, that Cabello attempted to distance himself from his former bodyguard. “They want the world to understand that he was the person closest to me. It’s a lie, a lie,” Cabello claimed, speaking of Salazar.

Cabello also issued several tweets responding to the allegations. One read (translated), “Each attack on my person strengthens my spirit and my commitment, I deeply appreciate the expressions of solidarity of our people.”

A diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks identified Cabello as someone who had been amassing power and money within the socialist government. Cabello was described as the leader of a “fascist” division within the socialist government, one that was comfortable with taking control of the media and allowing for little dissent.

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