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.
"Anyone who messes with Diosdado messes with us, messes with me. We are going to defend Diosdado like we defended our country in March against an attack from the United States," the president said Tuesday during his weekly radio and television program "En contacto con Maduro (In contact with Maduro).
Maduro believes Cabello, since January, "has been the victim of a brutal attack by the ultra-right Bogota-Madrid-Miami axis, through the media in Miami, the Wall Street Journal, and the fascist newspaper ABC Spain."
Maduro announced a "national and international campaign" to defend Cabello and other officials being investigated by the United States for drug-trafficking.
The president claimed the investigations were "based on lies from traitors" and warned that "the law should be applied with utmost severity on traitors, who sell their souls to the country's enemies."
New York's Wall Street Journal reported Monday that over the past few years the U.S. Justice Department has investigated several senior Venezuelan officials suspected of turning the South American country into a hub for cocaine trafficking and money laundering.
Cabello is one of the officials being investigated, according to anonymous sources at the Journal.
Cabello rejected the report as part of a campaign to attack Venezuela and called on those accusing him to submit the evidence.