New York, June 1, 2021— The International #FreeAlexSaab Solidarity Committee emergency delegation is going to be in its way to Cabo Verde in the next hours to meet with kidnapped Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab, who has been held on isolation in the African island nation for the past year. The US is trying to extradite the Venezuelan diplomat for the “crime” of securing food for the hungry in “violation” of the illegal US sanctions.
Leading the humanitarian delegation is Cabo Verdean religious leader Bishop Felipe Teixeira, joined by Cabo Verdean politician Pericles Tavares along with human rights activists Sara Flounders of International Action Center and Roger Harris of Task Force on the Americas.
The delegation to Cabo Verde will evaluate the flagrant violation of diplomatic immunity and discuss the humanitarian purpose of Saab’s work of providing desperately needed food, medicine, and essential supplies to US-sanctioned Venezuela. This is the first international humanitarian delegation to examine the harsh conditions Alex Saab has endured.
International solidarity campaign
The solidarity campaign has launched an international signing petition calling on US President Joseph Biden, Cabo Verdean Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva, and President Jorge Carlos Fonsesca to release Alex Saab and put a stop on the illegal extradition process.
Among the thousands of signers of the petition are former UN special rapporteur on human rights Alfred de Zayas, peace activist Medea Benjamin, intellectual Noam Chomsky, senior peace organizer Al Marde, historian and journalist Vijay Prashad, journalist Max Blumenthal, Joe Lombardo of United National Antiwar Coalition, Jesús Rodríguez-Espinoza of Orinoco Tribune, Paul Liem of the Korean Policy Institute, and Ajamu Baraka of the Black Alliance for Peace, and renowned attorneys in the US, Canada, and Venezuela including José Pertierra, John Philpot, and Ken Stone.
The Boston School Bus Drivers Union, USW Local 8751, with many members who originally were immigrants from Cabo Verde, passed a unanimous resolution in support of Saab. William Camacaro of the Bolivarian Circle helped connect activist campaigners internationally. Thousands in Venezuela and around the world are lining up to sign the petition calling for Saab’s release.
Alex Saab case in brief
Alex Saab is being held in isolation in Cabo Verde and is in a life-threatening situation. He is battling cancer, which has gone untreated during the year that he has been under arrest in the African country. He has been denied care by his oncologist. Alex Saab must be immediately released on humanitarian grounds.
Alex Saab is a lawfully appointed diplomat from Venezuela to the African Union. Arresting and holding a diplomat for any reason is a violation of international law and an insult to the African Union. He was kidnapped, held and tortured under orders from the Trump administration.
We call on President Biden to drop the demand for Alex Saab’s extradition to the US, a violation of international and Cape Verdean law due to the fact that there is no extradition agreement signed between the two countries. We call on the prime minister and the president of Cabo Verde to release Saab immediately for him to return to Venezuela and receive medical treatment.
The Sanctions Kill campaign has documented the impact of the extreme sanctions on Venezuela to the US sanctions strangling 38 other countries, one-third of the world’s population. Fifteen of the sanctioned countries are in Africa. Stansfield Smith in a The Grayzone article linked Alex Saab’s extradition case for “violating” the illegal US sanctions to similar cases of North Korean Mun Chol Myong and Chinese Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
Petition and more information
Elane Spivak-Rodriguez of Alliance for Global Justice has gathered documents, news articles and legal rulings on Alex Saab kidnapping at https://afgj.org/free-alex-saab. The Solidarity Committee calls for international support for the delegation and for high media coverage.
More information will follow before the delegation arrives in Cabo Verde.
For detailed information about this case please visit this website.
Or follow us @FreedomAlexSaab on Twitter.
Featured image: Referential photo of a commercial jet landing in the Island of Sal, Cabo Verde. File photo.