Diosdado Cabello, a U.S.-sanctioned drug trafficker and one of Venezuela’s most powerful socialist henchmen, took credit for the violent riots that have consumed Ecuador and Chile this month, calling them the “little breeze” of a coming “Bolivarian hurricane” during a weekend rally.
Cabello is the head of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), dictator Nicolás Maduro’s party, and the host of the state television propaganda show Con el mazo dando (“hitting with the mallet”). American law enforcement officials also believe him to be the head of the Cartel de los Soles, a multi-continental cocaine trafficking syndicate run out of the Venezuelan military.
Leftist mobs destroyed significant portions of Ecuador’s capital, Quito, and its largest city Guayaquil this month after President Lenín Moreno announced an end to a decades-old gasoline subsidy in tandem with his country departing the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC), which would repeal oil production limits and bring prices down naturally. Organizations identifying as leftist groups began building burning roadblocks and looting businesses throughout the country to pressure Moreno into relenting on the new policies, which he eventually did.
Santiago, Chile, experienced similar leftist riots this weekend, this time against a proposed increase in subway fares. At least eight people have died since the protests began, most killed by smoke and fire within burning commerce buildings amid business lootings.
Cabello celebrated both instances of rioting, as well as the chaotic situations in Peru – where President Martín Vizcarra dissolved the Congress last month – and Honduras, and the return of the far left in Argentina.
“What is happening in Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Honduras is just a little breeze, and what is coming is a Bolivarian hurricane,” he said, referring to the Venezuelan socialist ideology. “We are not isolated from the world – on the contrary, Venezuela every day is more consolidated.”
He added that he was “happy to see what is going on in [Latin] America, I am happy when I see the people wake up.”
Cabello compared center-right Chilean President Sebastián Piñera to dictator Augusto Pinochet for considering hiking subway fares and, later, using established curfew laws to keep leftist mobs from destroying the capital. He went on to predict that riots would soon hit Colombia because it, too, had a conservative president, Iván Duque.
“Venezuela is an authentic democracy,” he concluded, “where the people have the right to express themselves in elections and on the streets.”
The Venezuelan military has killed hundreds of unarmed protesters since uprisings against Maduro began in 2014, many of them minors. Maduro is also still holding over 400 political prisoners, despite releasing about 12 of them in response to global criticism upon his regime – which does not legitimately govern Venezuela – being gifted a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Ultimately, Cabello predicted that the “Bolivarian breeze will reach the United States and it will have someone who governs for the people.”
Maduro endorsed his “revolutionary friend” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the 2016 presidential election.
Maduro himself also appeared to take credit for the leftist violence taking over Ecuador and Chile after Venezuela’s Supreme Court in exile accused the “Sao Paulo Forum,” a term South Americans typically used to describe the coalition of radical leftists led by Cuba and including Venezuela and radical elements in Argentina, of orchestrating the riots.
“To the Sao Paulo Forum I can tell you, from Venezuela, we are executing the plan, it is going how we planned it, it’s going perfectly, you understand me,” Maduro said on Sunday. “To the Sao Paulo Forum, the plan is going in full development, victorious. All the goals that we proposed in the Forum we are achieving one by one.”
Maduro appeared to be earnestly expressing that he believed the global left was succeeding, though he also attempted to present the Sao Paulo Forum as a conspiracy theory, adding, “I can’t say anything else, those are super mustache secrets, I can’t say anything else.”
He went on to call Ecuadorian President Moreno “stupid” and “offensive” to claim that Quito had evidence of leftist groups paying people to travel to Ecuador and riot. He blamed riots in Ecuador and Chile on “savage capitalism.”
Piñera, in Chile, declared that the riots represented a “war” that decent citizens must wage against violent rioters.
“We are in a war against a powerful and implacable enemy that respects nothing and no one,” Piñera said.
Following the beginning of the Ecuador riots, seven Latin American nations, including Chile, expressed support for Moreno and condemned the global left, and Maduro in particular, for organizing riots to hurt pro-democratic leaders in the region. The Organization of American States (OAS) also issued a statement of support.
Maduro is a close ally of the wealthy Chinese communist regime, which has invested for months in delegitimizing peaceful protests against human rights abuses and authoritarianism in Hong Kong.