Alex Saab denounces illegalities in his detention in Cape Verde

Últimas Noticias | July 26, 2021

Through a letter made public, the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, imprisoned in Cape Verde for more than a year for an extradition request from the United States government, denounced once again the illegality of his detention this Monday: In the letter appreciates the expressions of support received from the Cape Verdean people.

According to the Telesur web portal, Saab presented his case to the citizens of the African country and denounced that he had been kidnapped in that nation “under the instructions of the United States.”

Saab described that the humanitarian mission that, on behalf of the Venezuelan State, he has been carrying out since 2018, with a view to overcoming “the vicious and immoral economic blockade unilaterally imposed by the United States,” was entrusted to him by the President of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro.

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Free Alex Saab! Alex Saab Case: State of Cape Verde Between Ambiguity and Schizophrenia (Part I)

José António dos Reis

Orinoco Tribune | July 10, 2021

#FreeAlexSaab poster. FIle image.

I am writing this article with a bit of disgust, or rather, with pain in my heart, because its content may be an accusatory libel against the State of Cape Verde, a country where I was born, grew up, and learned to love. This article is not an accusation, in particular, either against the government, or the President of the Republic, or the Parliament. Rather, this is an accusation against the State of Cape Verde, and consequently against all the bodies that make up the State that have directly intervened or have failed to intervene in this process, whose conduct was not guided by the principles of justice, equality, reciprocity, independence and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.

I am from a generation that has lived through and knows what colonial domination was; that knows, because it went through them, what fascist and one-party regimes are. I know who helped us in critical moments and who took a stand against foreign domination in our country.

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Join the International Free Alex Saab Committee in the struggle to #FreeAlexSaab

The US Government ordered Venezuelan diplomat detained, held in isolation, and denied needed medical care in Cabo Verde! Help demand his release. 

  1. Sign and share the open letter
  2. Read and share background resources on the campaign to #FreeAlexSaab
  3. Follow for updates

Sign onto the open letter:

The International Free Alex Saab Committee has launched a campaign to collect signatures and send simultaneous direct emails to authorities in the United States and Cape Verde.

Join thousands who have already signed along with the prominent individuals below to demand authorities in the United States and Cape Verde release of the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, arbitrarily detained in Cape Verde following US orders almost one year ago.

Endorsed by:

Noam Chomsky
Vijay Prashad
Alfred de Zayas
Medea Benjamin
Max Blumenthal
Dan Kovalik
Steve Ellner
Ben Norton
Jose Pertierra

Save the Life of Alex Saab!

Venezuelan diplomat kidnapped by U.S. – Held in isolation and denied medical care in Cabo Verde! #FreeAlexSaab!

español | português | francés

US authorities ordered his arrest, and Alex Saab was pulled off a plane on June 12, 2020, during a refuelling stop in the Republic of Cabo Verde, an island nation off Africa’s West Coast.

Saab, a Venezuelan diplomat to the African Union, was on a humanitarian mission to Iran at the time of his seizure to arrange emergency shipments of food, medicine, and essential supplies for Venezuela.  Detained and imprisoned in total isolation and darkness in Cabo Verde for the past year, Saab has also been tortured.

Saab is battling cancer and urgently needs to be cared for by his doctors in Venezuela.

The US sanctioned Saab for his diplomatic role purchasing essential supplies for Venezuela and indicted him for building houses for the less well-off, calling his work “money laundering.” In March, however, after a three-year investigation, Swiss prosecutors found no evidence to support charges of money laundering.

Saab has never worked in nor lived in nor visited the United States for the past 30 years, nor was he involved in any transaction that included the US. Every aspect of Saab’s seizure and abusive treatment violates international law.

If the US government can extradite Alex Saab, Washington could be emboldened to seize, charge and extradite anybody anywhere. This kidnapping is a chilling reminder of the notorious US program launched in 2001 of secret renditions and disappearances of hundreds of people worldwide, some held for years without trial.

A credentialed diplomat, Saab’s arrest and year-long detention flagrantly violates internationally guaranteed diplomatic immunity. This act, ordered by the Trump Administration, is a racist insult to the African Union. It should not be continued by the Biden Administration.

The request for extradition is entirely illegal as the US has no extradition treaty with Cabo Verde, whose population of 561,000 is spread over 10 volcanic islands.

Cabo Verde is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The ECOWAS Court of Justice ordered Saab’s immediate release and termination of the extradition process on 15 March. Pressured by the US, Cabo Verde has yet to comply with the ECOWAS Court’s decision and is preparing an extradition trial.

US sanctions on Venezuela, Iran and 37 other countries violate international law and the UN Charter. Aimed at destabilizing a country through economic sabotage, sanctions inflict impoverishment and suffering on the civilian population and create dire shortages in essential supplies.

The US has sabotaged Venezuela’s exports and imports for years and has especially targeted a direct, house-to-house, food delivery program, called the CLAP Program, depriving Venezuelans of food.

The bogus charge against Alex Saab, as well as similar cases against North Korea’s Mun Chol Myong and China’s Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou involve individuals engaged in perfectly legal international trade, not US trade. (thegrayzone.com, April 27).

Alex Saab’s case has received international publicity, especially in African and Venezuelan news media, but in the US corporate media, there has been almost no coverage.

Saab’s case impacts the 15 African countries already under US sanctions. It resonates in US-sanctioned Iran and in Venezuela, where social media campaigns and demonstrations have demanded Saab’s release.

__________

SEND this message

To: United States President Joseph Biden

To: Republic of Cabo Verde Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva

To: Republic of Cabo Verde President Jorge Carlos Fonseca

We join in calling for the immediate release of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab.

Alex Saab is held in complete isolation in Cabo Verde and is in a life-threatening crisis. He is battling cancer. This has been untreated for the year he has been held.

Medical care has been refused! A visit from a London oncologist was refused. Alex Saab must be immediately released on humanitarian grounds.

Alex Saab is a lawfully appointed diplomat 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.

Alex Saab 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 U.S. This is clearly a violation of international law.

We call on the Prime Minister and the President of Cabo Verde to release Saab immediately to Venezuela to receive medical treatment.

Sign onto the open letter!


Campaign Updates:

6/1/21: International delegation of legal experts and activists prepares to visit Alex Saab in Cape Verde to learn about the case firsthand, raise awareness about the case, and awaken public opinion to his plight.

5/29/21: Boston School Bus Drivers Union (USW Local 8751) passes resolution demanding the immediate Release Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab (Orinoco Tribune, May 30, 2021)

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US Compels Small African Country to Imprison Venezuelan Diplomat – International Human Rights Delegation Files Habeas Corpus to Free Alex Saab

Roger Harris

RESUMEN | June 07, 2021

Delegation denied access to visit Alex Saab

The Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, imprisoned for trying to buy humanitarian supplies from Iran in legal international trade but in violation of illegal US sanctions, is facing extradition to the US. That is like getting stabbed in the back and then being arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.

US extraterritorial judicial overreach

On June 12, 2020, Saab was on his way from Caracas to Tehran, when his plane had to make a routine fueling stop. While in the air, the pilot was informed that Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia would not allow the plane to land, ostensibly for COVID pandemic reasons. Instead, the plane was carefully choreographed to refuel in Cabo Verde, a small archipelago nation off the Atlantic coast of Africa.

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