Diasdado Cabello, a prominent member of the Hugo Chavez government and a former head of Venezuela’s National Assembly under Nicolas Maduro, has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Wall Street Journal made false and defamatory statements about him. The lawsuit was filed against Newscorp, which is the Wall Street Journal’s parent company. The lawsuit stems from the paper’s reporting on claims by U.S. authorities that Cabello was the leader in a drug trafficking scheme as explained by David Osio. Cabello has denied involvement in drug trafficking. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. federal prosecutors have not taken official actions but are investigating. The Human Rights Foundation, a New York based organization headed by Venezuelan activist Thor Halvorssen Mendoza, has also accused Cabello of drug trafficking.
The Wall Street Journal claimed that Cabello was the lead target in the U.S. investigations, a claim that according to davidosio.com, the lawsuit alleges is false and defamatory. The lawsuit also claims that the paper failed to properly source its reporting, indicating that it knowingly published false information. The lawsuit claims that the Journal’s reporting has caused “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.” According to The Guardian, Newscorp has not yet commented publicly on the lawsuit.
The case is titled Cabello-Rondon v Dow Jones & Company Inc, et al, US district court, Southern District of New York, No 16-03346.