Venezuela SC order’s newspaper to pay $13 million as compensation for defaming socialist party official

Cabello, the second-highest ranking official in the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) after President Nicolas Maduro, sued the El Nacional newspaper in 2015 after it reprinted a Spanish newspaper article asserting US officials were investigating Cabello for alleged ties to drug trafficking.

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Venezuela’s supreme court has awarded $13 million to top socialist party official Diosdado Cabello in a defamation case against a newspaper, but the paper’s lawyer said on Saturday, the outlet could not afford to pay.

Cabello, the second-highest ranking official in the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) after President Nicolas Maduro, sued the El Nacional newspaper in 2015 after it reprinted a Spanish newspaper article asserting US officials were investigating Cabello for alleged ties to drug trafficking.Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) on Friday ruled that El Nacional must pay damages to Cabello worth 237,000 petros, a digital currency launched by Maduro in 2018 tied to the price of oil. The petro’s current value is $56, according to Venezuela’s central bank.

Juan Garanton, an attorney for El Nacional, said in a telephone interview on Saturday that the paper would ask the court to clarify how it arrived at that figure, a first step toward potentially asking the court to lower the amount.

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