Leamsy Salazar was the head of security for Hugo Chavez and, after Chavez’s death, for Diosdado Cabello, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly and second-in-command of the Socialist Party. Salazar has defected to the United States and unleashed some explosive allegations against his former bosses.
Salazar says that Hugo Chavez died in December 2012, not March 2013 as was claimed by his successor, Nicolás Maduro. Salazar says that Maduro and his cronies covered up Chavez’s death for three months so they could sign decrees under his name. Latin American politics has the reputation of being surreal, but maybe this represents, rather, the around-the-bend craziness of a socialist state. Think North Korea.
Salazar also says that Cabello is the head of an international drug cartel that includes other leading members of Venezuela’s Socialist Party, and that receives assistance from Cuba’s Communist government. Is this claim true? I don’t know, but Salazar reportedly is assisting law enforcement in New York with drafting a criminal complaint against Cabello.
It is hard to imagine that Venezuela’s socialist regime can last much longer. The Chavez/Maduro government has wrecked the economy by controlling prices, so everything is either in short supply or non-existent. The IMF says Venezuela’s economy will shrink by seven percent this year; that is undoubtedly an optimistic figure. And, of course, the price of the country’s only export, oil, has plummeted.
It is noteworthy that “eight other members of President Maduro’s personal security force have deserted Venezuela and defected to the United States, according to reports in Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional.” These particular rats are well-positioned to know when the ship is about to sink. It can’t happen too soon.