Venezuela's Diosdado Cabello Sues WSJ Over Cocaine Allegations

  • Lawsuit filed in Manhattan court accuses paper of libel
  • Cabello demands jury trial; says he suffered economic damage

Diosdado Cabello, a kingpin of Venezuela’s socialist government, is suing the Wall Street Journal for libel after the paper reported last year that he was being investigated for turning the country into a cocaine and money laundering hub. 

The former president of Venezuela’s national assembly and high ranking member of President Nicolas Maduro’s government filed the lawsuit Thursday in Manhattan federal court against Dow Jones & Company, Inc, and its parent News Corp. Cabello demanded a jury trial and said the story, published on May 18, 2015, contained false and defamatory allegations.

The defendants “caused, and continue to cause, enormous damage to Mr. Cabello’s reputation and good name, both personally and in his capacity as a key member of Venezuela’s National Assembly,” Cabello alleges, adding that he suffered “substantial economic damages” as a result of the article’s publication.

The story was part of an attack by “North American imperialism” against Venezuela’s institutions, Cabello said last year.

The lawsuit describes the politician as a “devout husband and father of four,” a “distinguished Venezuelan politician” and “high-ranking member of the military.”

“We are in the process of reviewing the suit but we have full confidence in the rigor and accuracy of our reporting,” Dow Jones spokeswoman Colleen Schwartz said in an e-mail statement. “We will vigorously defend The Wall Street Journal against this lawsuit.”

The case is Cabello-Rondon v. Dow Jones, 16-cv-03346, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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