Venezuela & ALBA News 12.30.2022: US Court Rules Alex Saab is not a Diplomat Because Maduro is not President of Venezuela

US Political Prisoner Alex Saab​

Judge Scola Decision Denying Alex Saab’s Right to Diplomatic Immunity Full text of the judge’s ruling.

Statement by the Venezuela Government on the US Ruling Against Alex Saab The US “disregards the diplomatic immunity of the Venezuelan Special Envoy Alex Naim Saab Morán, in the framework of the spurious judicial process followed against him, in retaliation for his actions to help overcome the criminal effects of the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States of America against Venezuela….”

Orinoco Tribune statement: US ‘Justice’ System Trashes Diplomatic Immunity & Rules Against Alex Saab, Defense Working on Appeal Federal Judge Robert Scola of the Southern District of Florida ruled that the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab does not have the right to diplomatic immunity, as the US government does not recognize the government of President Nicolás Maduro. “The Maduro regime has been deemed illegitimate … Any claim of diplomatic immunity asserted by a representative of the Maduro regime must also be considered illegitimate,” Scola ruled.

Venezuelanalysis (Ricardo Vaz): US Court Denies Venezuela Gov’t Envoy Alex Saab Immunity Claim Saab’s lawyers reiterated the existence of “binding legal precedent” to back the Venezuelan government envoy’s immunity from prosecution under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. They had rebutted Judge Scola’s claim that Washington’s non-recognition of the Maduro government should rule out Saab’s diplomatic status by arguing that the businessman never set foot on US soil. 

Ultima Noticias: Álex Saab appeals decision that rejects his diplomatic immunity The appeal repudiates with arguments the 15-page document in which the judge ensures that Saab could not prove that international law recognizes “immunities” for the charges against him, the judge also ensures that if such immunity exists, “consent would be required” of the State in which he was transiting”, in reference to the arbitrary detention suffered by the special envoy of Venezuela for Iran when he landed in Cape Verde, to refuel the plane that was carrying him to fulfill the humanitarian mission of seeking food for the South American country, this in the midst of the criminal blockade imposed by Washington on Caracas.

Ultima Noticias: In Contradiction to the Alex Saab Ruling – Rightwing parties that promoted the Venezuela “Interim Government” of Guaido meet to end it The parties Primero Justicia, Un Nuevo Tiempo, and the Acción Democrática fraction at the service of Henri Ramos Allup, ratified their position to put an end to the adventure of the “interim government” after acknowledging that the failure of this strategy. “The interim government has ceased to be useful for the democratization of Venezuela and is of no interest to the citizenry.”

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Venezuela

Venezuelanalysis: Venezuelan Children Continue to Die Under US Sanctions While Washington Funds ‘Democracy Programs’  UN rapporteurs visiting Venezuela have recorded the disastrous health situation caused by US sanctions. Purchases of basic medicine, blood reagents, vaccines, antibiotics, anesthetics, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS treatments have been blocked, and only 20% of the equipment in hospitals is functioning due to the inability to obtain spare parts. Recently, the Maduro government and the US-backed opposition resumed talks in Mexico and agreed to release some US $3 billion in funds seized by Washington and its European allies. Although there’s no timeline for when the funds will be freed given that it depends on Washington and their Venezuelan opposition puppets’ willingness to comply with the deal, one can only hope that it happens soon because many lives depend on it. That $3 billion is only a tiny fraction of all Venezuela’s frozen assets abroad, which ranges between $24-30 billion.

Orinoco Tribune: Venezuelan Government Delivers 13 Million Toys for Christmas which mut be more than one per child. How many did the US government deliver to children here?

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Bolivia

Al Mayadeen: Right-wing Bolivian governor Camacho charged with ‘terrorism’ Bolivian Interior Minister announces that Santa Cruz governor Camacho was arrested and flown to La Paz for questioning. After learning of Camacho’s arrest, his supporters barricaded streets in Santa Cruz with paving stones, tree branches, and vehicles to demand his release. They also torched the regional prosecutor’s office.

PeoplesDispatch: Far-right Bolivian leader Luis Camacho gets four months of pre-trial detention in coup case Social movements across Bolivia that have been calling for Camacho’s arrest and sentencing saluted the move, but violent riots have broken out demanding his release in his home department Santa Cruz. Luis Camacho was one of the key architects of the 2019 coup. Violent pro-Camacho riots in Santa Cruz have targeted government buildings, including the Attorney General’s Office, National Tax Office, the Palace of Justice, and the Civil Records Office, which have all suffered arson attacks and been looted. According to reports by the Bolivian Information Agency, 90% of the Attorney General’s Office has been irrevocably damaged.

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Nicaragua

MorningStar: Washington blames record migration on ‘communism’ when the causes are closer to home (original John Perry article here) After two years of Joe Biden’s presidency, four times as many undocumented migrants are trying to cross the border into the United States, and he’s getting desperate to explain away the increase. In September, the administration discovered a new narrative: that migrants are fleeing “communism.”  Nicaraguans heading north: their numbers have grown from a handful in 2020 to 165,000 in the last 12 months. What’s driving them? In one word, it’s jobs. The US has an acute labour shortage: “There aren’t enough people to fill the jobs being advertised.”

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Events 

Thursdays: WTF is Going on in Latin America & The Caribbean with Teri Mattson (or watch here or here)

January 11: Building our Power to Close Guantánamo: 21st Anniversary Virtual Rally

January 28:  Latin America Conference, London

March 11-12: International US-Cuba Normalization Conference

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Delegations/Tours

Travel to Cuba with Witness for Peace

March 2-12: Venezuela, 10 years commemorating Chávez’s Legacy

March 11-19: Nicaragua Coffee and Cooperatives Brigade

April 4-13: Cuba Agroecology Tour

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If you have events to publicize or find helpful articles for readers on the ALBA 

Countries, please send them to stansfieldsmith100@gmail.com,  or you can post them on Facebook here: VenezuelaNicaraguaBolivia; Latin America in general (here or here) Or send them to  venezuelaweekly@afgj.org

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