On the eve of Cape Verde’s independence day, coincidentally the same day as Venezuela’s—July 5—the United States government announced an investment of $439 million to build a new US embassy facility on a 4.5-hectare area of land adjacent to the Government Palace in Praia, capital of the West African country. Of that money $100 million will go directly into the Cape Verdean economy.
The project would “pay tribute to the long-standing relations” between Praia and Washington, US Ambassador to Cape Verde Jeff Daigle said when he made the announcement on Sunday, July 4.
The disproportionately high figure for the construction of the building is striking, since it is equivalent to more than half of Cape Verde’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast for the current year.
The news outlet Justiciafuser pointed to the obvious connection between the “investment” and the case of diplomat Alex Saab, who is illegally imprisoned by the government of Cape Verde due to US political influence: “Local observers… have questioned the timing of this announcement coming as it does only days before the Cape Verde Constitutional Court is expected to decide on Alex Saab’s appeal against his extradition to the United States.”
Jeff Daigle has been charged with directing the pressure on the government of Cape Verde for Saab to be extradited to Miami, Florida, under the custody of agents of the Drug Control Administration (DEA).
“Much work remains to be completed” before the expansion of the embassy is secured, the US diplomat said. Local analysts, quoted by Justiciafuser, singled out this statement as an implication that the US is awaiting reciprocation for its investment on behalf of Cape Verde.
Alex Saab was abducted in Cape Verde while returning from Iran on a diplomatic mission, one day before Interpol issued a Red Notice to justify his arrest. The government of Venezuela has demanded his release and has denounced the violations of international law represented by Washington’s actions with the collaboration of the African country.
The Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) recently ruled in favor of ending the extradition process of Alex Saab, and demanded his release.
Featured image: Attendees of the groundbreaking ceremony for the future headquarters of the United States Embassy in Cape Verde. (Photo: Inforpress).
Translation: Orinoco Tribune