By Frente Hugo Chavez para la Defensa de los Pueblos
Vancouver, October 17, 2021
Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab has been kidnapped for the second time by the United States government on October 16 and forcefully removed from the Archipelago nation of Cabo Verde (West Africa). We have learned that Mr. Saab was picked up at 4 a.m local time and airlifted on a jet aircraft leased by the US Justice Department to Miami, Florida to be locked in a security prison. He was illegally surrendered by the Cabo Verde authorities who had initially kidnapped him on June 12, 2020 under pressure by the US government that has virtually bribed Cabo Verde with the promise of $400 million investment.
The action of the US government aided by the government of Cabo Verde is one of the most flagrant negligent disregard of international conventions, such as the Vienna Convention, that guarantees total immunity to diplomats. The Venezuelan government is the legitimate representative of the Venezuelan State, which is recognised by the United Nations, and therefore the designation of Mr. Saab as its special envoy to represent Venezuela in international fora must be accepted and not be trampled upon by any other State.
The US government under the Biden administration is typically bullying its way against Venezuela, under the presumption that it poses an extraordinary threat to US national security, in order to achieve a regime change in that country. Failing on its goal with its illegal (again) unilateral imposition of extraterritorial coercive financial and economic measures (sanctions), it turned to character assassination of Alex Saab.
Mr. Saab has been accused of money laundering, a charge that has been dismissed by the Swiss authorities after a lengthy financial investigation. Yet another accusation claims cases of corruption in Venezuela. The US has no jurisdiction on what is the exclusive matter for Venezuelan courts.
Two international institutions, the UN Human Rights Committee and the regional Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) Court, have already demanded that Alex Saab be released. Cabo Verde chose to ignore these demands. And so does the United States now.
In reality, the persecution of Mr. Saab by the US is based on the fact that Mr. Saab was reportedly succeeding in bypassing the negative impact of the illegal US “sanctions”, and by doing so he has been frustrating the US goal of submitting the Venezuelan population to starvation and death.
Mr. Saab had the sole and legitimate mandate by the government of Venezuela to negotiate fair international trade agreements to guarantee the necessary supply of foods and medicines for the Venezuelan population despite the illegal “sanctions”.
That is not a crime. On the contrary his patriotic and humanistic commitment has garnered the support of the international community, an expression of which is manifested by the Free Alex Saab Committee. We are proud endorsers of this committee.
We are extremely concerned because beyond the character assassination, Mr. Saab has already undergone physical abuse and torture in Cabo Verde, and the US kidnappers might use more extreme means in order to extract presumable information from him.
We fear for his health both physical and mental with the perspective of a prolonged time away from his wife and children beyond the almost 500 days imprisoned in Cabo Verde, and the unfair treatment in the adverse legal environment that pervades all levels of the US government.
We express our solidarity with the government of Venezuela and its special envoy, Alex Saab, and we join in solidarity with righteous manifestations of protest demanding his immediate freedom that are taking place in Venezuela and around the world.
We call on the international community to join in protests beyond ideological positions, but purely for the sake of stopping a crass injustice that sets a dangerous precedent for all nations.
Featured image: Poster #FreeAlexSaab