The US Government ordered Venezuelan diplomat detained, held in isolation, and denied needed medical care in Cabo Verde!
Join us in the struggle to free Alex Saab.
We ask you to send the letter below to President Biden and President Fonseca and Prime Minister Correia e Silva of Cabo Verde.
Alfred de Zayas
U.S. authorities ordered his arrest, and Alex Saab was pulled off a plane on June 12, 2020, during a refueling stop in the Republic of Cabo Verde, an island nation off Africa’s West Coast. His “crime” is conducting legal international trade in “violation” of the illegal US sanctions on Venezuela.
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. While detained and imprisoned in isolation and darkness in Cabo Verde, Saab also provided evidence he was tortured.
Saab is battling cancer and urgently needs to be cared for by his doctors in Venezuela.
The U.S. 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 the United States, nor was he involved in any transaction that included the U.S. Every aspect of Saab’s seizure and abusive treatment violates international law.
If the U.S. 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 U.S. 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, should not be continued by the Biden Administration.
The request for extradition is entirely illegal as the U.S. 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 U.S., Cabo Verde has yet to comply with the ECOWAS Court’s decision and is preparing an extradition trial.
U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, Iran and 37 other countries violate international law and the U.N. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. trade. (thegrayzone.com).
Alex Saab’s case has received international publicity, especially in African and Venezuelan news media, but in the U.S. corporate media, there has been almost no coverage.
Saab’s case impacts the 15 African countries already under U.S. sanctions. It resonates in U.S.-sanctioned Iran and in Venezuela, where social media campaigns and demonstrations have demanded Saab’s release.
for more information on the case, see https://afgj.org/free-alex-saab