The military threats President Trump made to Venezuela raised tons of eyebrows last week as he had already tripled-down on his threats to North Korea in the same week. Trump's threats toward the Latin American country can likely be attributed to Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-Fl.) who reportedly increased his security protection recently when authorities learned that there was a possible assassination plot against him. That plot was reportedly connected to a powerful Venezuelan lawmaker named Diosdado Cabello, a delegate and vice president for the country's Socialist Party, and member of the new assembly which was put in place when Maduro's party seized power of the Venezuelan parliament.

Rubio's moment of opportunity in Trump's White House

Since Donald Trump entered the Oval Office. Sen. Rubio positioned himself as a person of influence for the White House's thinking on Latin America. As the President was positioning himself to make a decision on U.S.-Cuba relations, Rubio reportedly met with the President to discuss enforcing the embargo on Cuba again and rolling back Obama-era efforts to establish a relationship with the Castro regime after over half a century. Rubio was so determined to stop the former president's efforts during his two terms that he held up nominations for an ambassadorship to Mexico.

With Trump in office now, Marco Rubio has taken advantage of an opening to influence the administration's policy on Latin America, a responsibility that Trump has essentially taken away from the State Department.

Seven months into the administration, the president still hasn't filled positions at the State Department and is actively pursuing taking funding away. His Secretary of State has reportedly been frustrated with the lack of opportunities available to him to have some control of the State Department. One clear indication is the fact that Trump has given much of the responsibility of a secretary of state to his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Rubio: 'acting Secretary of State' for Latin America

This is the case with Sen. Rubio, who seems to "have it out" for the Venezuelan government. According to one report by the Miami Herald titled: "The Trump whisperer: Marco Rubio has President Trump's ear on Latin America," soon after Trump made his statement about Cuba, Rubio "moved in" to give him ideas about Venezuela.

Rubio also has the world's attention as Venezuela has made headlines for months over President Nicolas Maduro seizing constitutional control as the country loses control of its economy and struggles with food shortages and high prices.

Its been reported that people in Venezuela who have had great difficulty getting food had to force their way across the border into Colombia last year, overpowering guards who were blocking the way. Maduro has continued to gain more control of the country day by day and the military power of many of the country's services, even allegedly staged coup attempts. Reports of more violence from protests are also growing. With little interest from the Trump White House to engage with Latin America, Marco Rubio has more power to enforce his political agenda in the region than he did before.