The U.S. Treasury Department finally sanctioned Diosdado Cabello, chavismo's most powerful man. Two of Cabello's proxies have also been sanctioned: Rafael Sarria and Pedro Luis Martin.
Diosdado Cabello is the current President of Venezuela's Congress. He has had many important roles in the chavista revolution, and is considered to be one of the three most powerful men in Venezuela. Cabello hails from the military, and participated in the coup led by Hugo Chavez in 1992. Cabello has recently been mentioned in a Florida lawsuit against Derwick Associates, a company that allegedly paid him a $50 million bribe. Wikileaks provides examples of how American authorities perceive Cabello, and so it is relevant to showcase these opinions, to get a measure of the man.
Life seems to be getting more and more difficult for Derwick Associates. A Venezuelan news site reported two days ago that Thor Halvorssen (with whom I worked in The Human Rights Foundation back in 2008-2009) has filed a lawsuit in Miami against Derwick Associates, and its executives Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt Lopez, Pedro Trebbau Lopez and Francisco D'Agostino.
The last couple of days have been kind of extraordinary, in the sense that some of chavismo's big dogs have come unhinged. First we saw Jose Vielma Mora, Governor of Tachira state where protests began, criticising President Maduro in a radio interview. Vielma Mora said he was against the brutal way in which protesters have been repressed, and added that he disagreed with keeping political prisoner Ivan Simonovis and opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez in jail (both on trumped charges). We then saw President of Congress, Diosdado Cabello, come on TV to lie about an alleged weapons cache that General Angel Vivas had in his house.