V Reporters | July 05, 2021
Ahead of the Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab’s appeal against his extradition to the United States by Cape verdian Competent court of law, some observers across the world have raised suspicions over the move by the United to invest about $400 million which according to American government is earmarked for the expansion of its embassy in the west African country.
The observers are of the opinion that, even if the US government is sincere about the investment, the timing of the investment might not be unconnected with the extradition of Alex Saab who is being detained by the Cape verdian authorities over alleged money laundering since last year June.
US ambassador to Cape Verde, Jeff Daigle, while laying off the foundation of the project said, it would result into a direct injection of about $100 million into the Cape Verde economy.
The observers hinged their position on a claim by the United States government that the extradition process of the embattled Venezuelan diplomat should be “free from political interference”, this stance according to them contradicts the ‘patronage’ of the country under the guise of expansion of embassy at this sensitive time.
Examining the economic status of Cape Verde raises further questions about the project. With a GDP of less than US$2 billion, observers have raised dust over the feasibility of $400 million project, which represents 20% of the country’s GDP.
The observers claimed that rather than the US government to embark on the questionable project, Cape Verdean authorities should have asked for a $100 million grant for vocational education training and building of and funding of a technical university which will in turn have direct impact on all citizens of the country.
Recall that, the diplomat Saab was arrested and detained in Cape Verde in 2020 based on the request of the Donald Trump led United States government during a stop over on his way to Iran over allegations of money laundering, a move the Venezuelan government faulted with claims that the businessman is its special envoy on a humanitarian mission.
The Venezuelan government claimed that before his arrest, Saab had been on a mission to get food and medical supplies in Iran, stopping over in Cape Verde where he was arrested by security operatives.
Cape Verdean government has been consistently flouting orders from the ECOWAS court to release Saab.
Saab was denied access to any member of his defense team despite three court rulings granting him the right to do so.