For a pdf in Spanish or a Word document in English of the book, see https://freealexsaab.org/en/
LETTERS OF ALEX SAAB FROM HIS CAPTIVITY
Foreword by Charles Hardy
Introductions by Alfred de Zayas and Femi Falana
Table of Contents
Preliminary words –
Letters from Alex Saab
Letter # 1 –
Letter # 2 –
Letter # 3 –
Letter # 4 –
Interview # 1 –
Interview # 2 –
Interview # 3 –
Interview # 4 –
Letter # 5 –
Letter # 6 –
Letter # 7 –
Letter # 8 –
Letter # 9 –
Letter # 10 –
Letter # 11 –
Letter # 12 –
Letter # 13 –
Letter # 14 –
Letters from Camilla Fabri Saab
Letter # 1 –
Letter # 2 –
Letter # 3 –
I receive with pleasure, deep gratitude and humility the compilation of these letters written during my captivity on the island of Cape Verde, following orders from North America.
Right now, I am in US territory, due to a completely illegal and inhumane extraction operation, injurious to International Law. I don’t know what my luck will be here. But I can say out loud that this is a deaf and corrupt government that does not apply the Law but instead a real dictatorship and slavery practice. How much I would like to be back in Caracas with my family and you people.
I assure you that my love, my character, my loyalty to the country that welcomed me, will remain intact and even stronger and that I will soon be, if I am not yet, free to continue fighting for the country we love and the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, chaired by our leader, President Nicolás Maduro Moros.
The criminal and inhuman blockade to which the US government has unilaterally subjected us will come to an end. Sooner rather than later it will end and this will strengthen us to continue investing the richness of our country in social causes that today are envied throughout the world.
The spirit of freedom of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will never falter to be submitted to the will of the empire.
I celebrate the International Book Fair of Venezuela, the well-known FILVEN, a reference throughout the world. She is a masterpiece of our Eternal Commander Hugo Chávez Frías and maintained by our leader President Nicolás Maduro Moros.
“Before certain books, i wonder: who will read them? And before certain people i wonder: what will they read? And finally, books and people meet”.
We will overcome
Foreword by Charles Hardy
Author of Cowboy in Caracas, A North American’s Memoir of Venezuela’s Democratic Revolution. He was the 2014 candidate of the Democratic party in Wyoming for the U.S. Senate. His campaign was featured in an 80-minute documentary, Charlie vs. Goliath, which was shown in the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and nationally on the World Channel of PBS.
March 20, 2022. The United States and its NATO allies are in conflict with Russia. In many Christian churches, today is the Third Sunday of Lent. The United States government currently recognizes Juan Guaidó as the president of Venezuela. The United States government does not recognize the rights of Alex Saab as a Venezuelan diplomat. four days ago, William Camacaro called me and asked if I would write a prologue for the translation of this book into English. Today I begin to write.
The name Alex Saab was mentioned only once in the previous six sentences. But all the ideas expressed in them relate to him and the contents of this book. This is because Alex Saab is a Venezuelan and since 1999 the U.S. has been trying to overthrow the democratically elected governments of Venezuela
For decades, the United States has been at war somewhere in the world, mostly in countries far from the U.S. At this moment the next country will possibly be Ukraine. And those whose lives will be most affected are the people of Ukraine. It is they who will mostly count the dead and wounded, and watch as their homes and lands are destroyed.
The U.S., NATO and Russia are all pondering how much more military equipment will be necessary to win the battle. The world thinks of tanks and planes and bombs and rockets. But there is another lethal weapon that is being used. One that is made of paper. One that is called “sanctions.”
The word “sanction” is an euphemism for starvation, illness, and suffering. It is a way one government tries to effect “regime change” in another country by hurting ordinary citizens so that they will turn against their governing bodies and bow to the demands of the government that is imposing the sanctions.
It is not a new type of weapon. In Biblical times, during the siege of Jerusalem. Rome caused starvation of its inhabitants. In the last century Hitler used sanctions to starve more than a half-million people of Leningrad. Presently there are 27 countries being sanctioned by the U.S. Since 2017 sanctions have been imposed on Venezuela. The Center for Economic and Policy Research estimates that these U.S. sanctions were responsible for more than 40,000 deaths between 2017 and 2018 in Venezuela. But what can a government do to counteract these sanctions? Alex Saab tried to help.
As I mentioned, today is the Third Sunday of Lent. I have always been identified with the Roman Catholic Church. During the forty days of Lent we are encouraged to pray, fast, and do good works. Good works include the corporal works of mercy: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless. These are based on Matthew 25, where Jesus urges his followers to do these things and has strong words for those who are not concerned about such human needs.
I believe that Alex Saab was following Jesus’ advice when he was illegally detained in Cape Verde. I wonder why President Joe Biden, who proudly proclaims he is a Roman Catholic, hasn’t recognized how Alex Saab was doing what Jesus said we should all do.
Which brings to mind another U.S. president, Donald Trump. I was in Venezuela on January 9, 2019, when Nicolas Maduro was inaugurated for another term as president of the country. Listening to the conversations of others I noticed a word that I had never heard before. Having lived in Venezuela for the better part of 26 years, I am fairly fluent in Spanish. But there are always new words to learn. I heard the word, “guido.” I wondered if a “guido” was an animal, vegetable or mineral.
What a surprise when on January 23 a person by the name of Juan Guaidó stood up in Plaza Brion in the Chacaito part of Caracas and proclaimed himself president of Venezuela. Not even one in five Venezuelans had ever heard his name before. 22,000 were the most votes that he had ever received in a country with a population of over 28 million
President Maduro had received millions of votes, but Juan Guido o Guaidó was immediately recognized by President Trump as the president of Venezuela. The idea that the U.S. could decide for Venezuela who should be their president is so ridiculous that one could burst out laughing. Screaming would be a more correct response.
But this attitude of the United States government somewhat explains the reason why Alex Saab is in prison: Juan Guaidó didn’t designate him as a special envoy to Iran and an official representative from Venezuela to the African Union.
Anyone reading this prologue might legitimately ask what the relationship of Charlie Hardy to Alex Saab is. I haven’t ever met him personally. However, I do have a relationship to him. We have a great love for Venezuelan and the Venezuelan people—so does Alex Saab (whom I believe was also reborn in Venezuela). It oozes from his writings in this book.
From 1985 to 1993, I lived as a Catholic missionary in a cardboard-and-tin shack in barrio on the periphery of Caracas. I remember a night in 1989 when neighbors told me not to step out of the door of my shack no matter what happened. I was told, “There is a curfew at 6 p.m. You step out that door and they (the soldiers) will kill you.” I, together with my neighbors had just been confronted a few minutes before by a young soldier pointing an automatic weapon at us. I did leave my shack that night with a woman who was dying to take her to the hospital.
Soon after arriving, I was taken to the hospital morgue where I saw the naked bodies of young people strewn on the floor because there was nowhere else to put them. The next year I slept in the cemetery several nights while 68 bodies in garbage bags were being unearthed from a common pit, people who disappeared in 1989.
Yes, this was a part of the reality of the “democracy” that existed before Hugo Chavez became president—a reality overlooked in the reporting about Venezuela. It is one of the reasons that people like Alex, continue to speak out in favor of Venezuela.
Finally, I must highlight one more of the corporal works of mercy that I didn’t mention before: ransoming the captives, i.e., freeing the prisoners.
My hope is that this translation of Alex Saab’s letters will motivate people in the English-speaking world to fight for his freedom. And will also fight for the right of Venezuela and other countries to determine their own futures without the interference of foreign powers.
Introduction by Femi Falana, Nigerian lawyer and Human right activist
The case of Alex Saab is unique. It is really about the international order and viability of diplomacy, which is all the more relevant today, when illegal wars are being waged and brutal force is being used.
Cape Verde’s participation in the illegal arrest of Venezuelan Special Envoy Alex Saab and its capitulation to pressure applied by the United States, first on 12 June 2020 and then again on 16 October 2021, will go down as shameful episodes in the history of the African continent.
It is on record that Cape Verde breached two binding rulings of the ECOWAS Court of Justice issued on March 15 a June 24, 2021. In its decisions the Court ruled that Alex Saab’s detention was illegal, that he be freed immediately, that the extradition process be terminated, and he be paid compensation of $200,000. To the eternal embarrassment of Africa, the United States, with impunity, forced its vassal state, Cape Verde, to not comply with the decision of a highly respected international court.
That Cape Verde, a member state of both the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union can hold the ECOWAS Court of Justice in such contempt by refusing to obey binding rulings of the highest human rights court in West Africa and also fail to comply with a binding decision of the African Commission of Human and People’s Rights and not fear the consequences, is a testament to how far the ideals of the multilateral treaty-based world order that was built on the ashes of World War II have been left behind.
Furthermore, the United Nations Human Rights Committee on June 8 and 16, 2021, in granting interim measures, ordered Cape Verde to halt the extradition of Alex Saab whilst it investigated allegations of torture and denial of access to health care. Cape Verde’s disregard for these directives resulted in it receiving an unprecedented strongly worded letter in July from four United Nations Special Rapporteurs and one Working Group highlighting Cape Verde’s obligations under international treaties and conventions regarding Alex Saab. The contemptuous action of Cape Verde was supported by the Government of the United States.
It is extremely disappointing that the very nations that these regional and international bodies were created to help should now actively seek to diminish their authority.
It is also pertinent to recall that in early 2021, the Geneva Public Prosecutor ended a three year-long investigation into allegations of money laundering against Alex Saab by ruling there was no evidence to support the allegations. That ruling, along with the payment of compensation amounts to a “not guilty” verdict under Swiss Law. As the funds in question were the same funds which are at the heart of the US’s allegations against Alex Saab, I am confident that justice will prevail.
Never before has a diplomat in transit from one country to another whilst engaged on a Special Mission been illegally arrested and then forcibly sent to a hostile third country. Never before have the rules which govern the free movement of diplomats, established over hundreds of years, been dismissed so disdainfully. Never before has politically motivated judicial overreach been deployed as arrogantly as it has in the way the United States has dealt with Alex Saab.
One thing that has never disappointed, however, me is the moral, mental and physical strength which Alex Saab showed throughout his time in illegal detention in Cape Verde. Despite being denied vital medicines, despite being physically and psychologically tortured and despite being denied some of his most basic human rights by the Cape Verdean authorities, he maintained his dignity and focus throughout the 16 months he spent imprisoned at the request of the United States.
The legal process in Cape Verde was not even completed when Alex Saab was forcibly taken from there to Miami. I am told that once again Alex Saab is showing remarkable strength of character as he gets ready to begin his fight to ensure the US courts recognizes his immunity and inviolability as a Diplomat of a sovereign state.
I am confident that Alex will prevail and that he will be returned to Venezuela and his family in the very near future.
Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, Former United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order
“There are many victims of lawfare. Alex Saab is one of them, a victim of political persecution and arbitrary detention. As UN rapporteur I denounced grave democratic deficits in the United States, UK and Colombia, where the judiciary is often not independent and follows political orders. Extradition law and practice have been weaponized to destroy human beings perceived as enemies. Diplomatic rules are being broken with impunity. As a life-long human rights activist, I urge the immediate release of all victims of political persecution, including Alex Saab and Julian Assange, who are entitled to the protection of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
Frederick Mills, Professor of Philosophy at Bowie State University
“The abduction of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab at the behest of Washington in Cape Verde and his illegal transfer to the Miami Federal Detention Center constitutes a grave violation of the Vienna Convention (1961).”
Suzanne Adely, President of National Lawyer Guild
“The ongoing prosecution of Alex Saab is an unlawful attempt to apply U.S. laws extraterritorially in an effort to violate the sovereignty and trade relations of independent nations. It reflects the extent to which the U.S. government will go in order to enforce its unilateral coercive measures and economic sanctions against Venezuela, Iran and other targeted nations. U.S. actions undermine the rule of law, exploiting law to further an imperialist agenda, whereas the U.S. can simply ignore rights of individuals to due process and to freedom from arbitrary detention to bully the nations they seek to dominate. It’s imperative to demand that the U.S. adhere to its obligations to comply with international treaties on diplomatic immunity to which it is a party and to halt U.S. violations of international law, especially concerning the cruel conditions of Mr. Saab’s unlawful detention.”
Letter # 01 Date: August 10, 2020
Title: My name is Alex Saab
Addressed to: Ulisses Correia, Your Excellency Ulisses Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of the Republic of Cape Verde
Várzea Government Palace, Cidade da Praia, Ilha de Santiago, Republic of Cape Verde.
Dear Prime Minister, my name is Alex Nain Saab Morán and I have been illegally detained in your country for 57 days already, while I await the review of an unsubstantiated and politically motivated extradition request made by the United States. I am compelled to write to you given the great injustice that has been committed. I have been denied of the right to a hearing and my legal team has not had access to the prosecutor’s report, something unprecedented in Cape Verde’s legal history. Furthermore, I’m sure you have heard of me; I am also certain that you will not know much true or modified information about me.
Although I was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, I am a Venezuelan citizen and I have lived in Caracas since 2004. I feel deeply grateful for the opportunities that Venezuela has given me, and I have tried to return this generosity and hospitality to its people. My parents emigrated from Lebanon in 1960 and created a textile business that, first through their hard work and later through the efforts of my brothers and me, existed for more than 50 years until we decided to go separated ways in business. At the age of 18 I created my own clothing brand and after turning 20 I left a family business that had 2,000 direct workers and 10,000 indirect workers.
The company produced more than 12 million clothes a year and exported to 20 countries. At the age of 21, I owned one of the largest textile companies in Colombia. I combined my work in the fashion world with investments in construction projects, thanks to which more than 1,000 apartments were built privately and without subsidies or government aid. I am telling you all this to show you that I am a normal person with an ordinary past whom, thanks to hard work, has been able to build a successful business in the private sector without receiving government benefits.
Over the years I have earned the trust of Venezuela because I have been professional, I have dealt with difficult payment conditions, caused by the blockade that Venezuela has faced, and I have used my own funds to fulfill contracts. Let me tell you about the main reason I am writing you, I want to ask you why I have been illegally detained for almost two months. During two months in which, despite having provided clear and unequivocal evidence of serious health problems, I have been given a rudimentary medical care and have lost almost 20 kg of my normal weight; all this despite having suffered from cancer. I have noticed that, in your country, even drug traffickers have received better treatment and have been offered house arrest; things have not been made available to me even though I am a Special Envoy. The United States has put on a uniform and has declared itself the police of the world.
The United States has made public its goal of changing the regime in place in Venezuela, and its achievement has brutalized the people and economy of Venezuela, regardless of the consequences. Their desire to extend their claims extraterritorial goes against all international law and is unprecedented in our times. The United States has accused me, without providing the slightest solid evidence, of alleged crimes whose only connection to the United States is the existence of payments made to or through US bank accounts. Payments that I didn’t do personally or that I was in charge of, due that they were contractual obligations or credit card bills for which no alternative payment methods were offered. I am convinced that they forgot to inform you that those same accusations have already been investigated by the Republic of Ecuador (and Venezuela itself) and no evidence of infractions was found.
For these reasons, is the United States saying that Ecuador is also part of a corrupt conspiracy controlled by me? As a sign of gratitude for fulfilling my obligations and contracts, in April 2018, Venezuela recognized my contribution by appointing me a special envoy, with the diplomatic immunity and privileges that such a position entails. Given the vengeful attitude politically oriented from the White House, I was tasked with meeting and negotiating with foreign governments and private companies to create new channels to obtain and deliver basic needs like food, medicine, and spare parts needed for the oil industry. As a special envoy, I have the responsibility to carry out the humanitarian needs that are assigned to me. This was the reason why I went to Iran in April, to negotiate the delivery of petrol and other products such as spare parts to boost the oil industry in Venezuela.
When I was illegally detained in Cape Verde on June 12, I was traveling to Iran on a special humanitarian mission under the title of special envoy, with full immunity under international law. I have known for some time that I had become the primary target of the United States and that, according to their extraterritorial models, they were prepared to go as far as possible to stop me from carrying out my obligations to the people in Venezuela. This distorted mentality included kidnapping me, like in a Hollywood movie, to introduce me to their version of “justice.” We all know that the judges in the US criminal justice system don’t care if you’ve been arrested or extradited; if you are in his room, you can, and you will be judged without considering the norms of intentional law or basic human rights.
On June 12th, when the plane in which I was traveling to carry out my special mission made a technical stop in Cape Verde, an officer, who did not identify himself but spoke perfect English, forced me off my diplomatic plane using an INTERPOL red alert as a pretext. It was 8:00 p.m. in Cape Verde, 11:00 p.m. in Lyon, where the INTERPOL base is located. We know that the red alert wasn’t issued until June 13, so I was basically kidnapped. From the airport, the police locked me in a cell for two days without food or electricity. During this period, his official “strongly” insisted that I should sign my voluntary extradition order, which I refused. I am certain, Prime Minister, that you were not aware of this cruel and inhuman treatment. However, I find it difficult to accept that even after Venezuela formally declared my immunity, you did nothing to rectify the situation. I have no doubt that your disregard will have legal and political consequences.
Your country became independent only 45 years ago, but unfortunately, there are countries like the United States that consider Cape Verde a second-class country that does not deserve an appropriate level of respect. What is the point of proclaiming your independence and now submitting (illegally) to please the United States? I doubt that the people of Cape Verde agree with this, as they have always been discriminated against and belittled by the United States. Prime Minister, I assure you that Venezuela will always treat you with greater respect and present you with more opportunities from the US. As a special envoy of my country, I can help Cape Verde more than the United States will in 100 years. Venezuela will always be a better ally than the US regime that restricts the rights of those it considers “enemies” of the State. Venezuela will always see Cape Verde as an equal sister nation and will never be a friend by convenience. I simply ask for justice and that Cape Verde, as a member of the United Nations, respect my immunity and allow me to return to my country.
Alex Nain Saab Morán
Special Envoy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Letter # 02
Title: What does the United States call regime change? Date: December 15th, 2020
Addressed to: W Radio Colombia
I will explain it in a casual and simple way. America hates Socialism. Why? Because if the poor man progresses, he would be less exploited. And capitalism, the economic model of the United States, based on surplus value, which is nothing more than how much you can exploit the working class so that he produces more and costs you less.
Just as they’ve carried out coups many times before, like in Iraq and other countries, now they have tried to carry out with their masterminds, the same coup discretely and they call that a “regime change”.
To achieve this, they must sell the idea that socialism is bad, that the country is immersed in corruption and that all its rulers, officials and contractors are corrupt. And for that they apply several formulas. One of them, the most efficient, is to hire hundreds of bloggers around the world. There are more than a hundred bloggers who spend millions of dollars around the world to attack countries that they consider to be a danger to their interests.
They spend millions and millions of dollars on them and social networks to convince the world that the country is a disaster, even though it is not. The idea is to tell a lie a million times until people believe it is “true”. And they succeed, I’ll give you an example: if you read in one of those portals you will see how many times each one attacks the same person with news and twitter. A single piece of news is normal, but when it’s the same blogger or influencer attacking the same person every day, it’s because they’re financially rewarded to change this person’s image and reputation.
So, for example, if a blogger says every day that “Juan” is a thief and says it millions of times and, likewise, hundreds of bloggers hired by the United States reply this information three times more on the daily basis, the day you see “Juan” in the street without knowing him. You’ll think: -Look, that’s “Juan” and he’s a thief-. And like that, automatically “Juan” is turned into a thief to the public opinion. Without him facing a legal process, without respecting due process, without evidence, without a sentence that condemns him, without anything. If the same formula were applied to the entire government and its collaborators, one day you’ll expect that people would violently provoke a “regime change”, as they call it.
But Venezuelans knows about their ways, we are not stupid, we see the reality of the inhumane blockade that the USA has imposed on us and the government and the country still exist, and we are not believing their lies.
When they announce a hurricane in Miami, everyone runs out and the supermarkets are emptied because people think that the hurricane will destroy everything, and they run to stock up first, even if it doesn’t happen afterwards.
That’s what Borges, Bobolongo, Paparoni and all those opposition scoundrels did. They repeatedly told the people that they were going to die of hunger, to the point that 3 million fellow citizens ran out of Venezuela. Of those, 2,500,000 have already returned to Venezuela because they know that in Venezuela they won’t die of hunger. The other 500,000 are trying to return thanks to President Maduro. Do the math, and you will see that it is so. Venezuela is helping them to return little by little.
Aside from bloggers, one day Bill Clinton, while having a massage in his Oval Office, invented the so-called OFAC or Clinton Act. What are they based on?
After blocking the country, they ban the sale of spare parts, supplies, food and the export of its crude oil, the purchase of gasoline, they freeze the money it had abroad (USD70,000 Million Dollars) and the prohibition of accessing to loan, the entry of ships to Venezuela to load crude oil, carry food, carry petrol, which leads everything to become more expensive due to the risk of going or working with Venezuela and thus causing a regime change that they have not been able to succeed because as they have said before “They did not count on the Resilience of Maduro” and the people who support the Chavismo. So then, OFAC was invented.
The OFAC is a simple office that cannot judge or accuse anyone, but that the United States uses to “sanction” and “scare” all those who support the countries and the rulers who they consider a threat to them. Russia-China-Venezuela-Turkey-Iran are the main members of that “prestigious” and shameful list that they have invented.
So, that’s when bloggers serve them the most. If you read any OFAC sanction, they have no proof of anything. It only says “The website ArmandoInfo.com, Infodio.com, LaPatilla.com, or whatever… says that ‘whoever’ is a corrupt person. Therefore, he is corrupt. As simple as that. Look for them, read it, they are public. No proof of anything. Legally, they have no effect unless they have properties in the USA and confiscate them. Otherwise, they can’t arrest you or anything. But when you go to a bank to open an account, the banker tells you, “sorry, you’re on the Clinton List or OFAC for corruption.” Thus, out of nowhere they close the accounts, they cancel your credit cards, and they make you a “scum” according to them and does the world allow this? Are they the police force of the world? Can you judge or damage a person’s good name without any proof? Trump is the one who has used it the most trying to achieve “his regime change” in Venezuela that he has not been able to, nor will he be able to.
Apart from that, as if they were the great Wiseman of the Olympus, it clearly says the sanction in its last lines, I invite you to look for one and read it. It says like this: it is to amend the behavior. It is not permanent. Whoever collaborates to return democracy in Venezuela, that is, “regime change”, will have the sanction removed and will return to being a decent person according to them.
Should Russia-Turkey-Iran-China and all the countries that the US attacks make the same list. Let it be called the Anti-Regime Law or I will let the name be chosen by the intellectuals, and we will sanction, just like them, all the businessmen and their relatives who want to or who have business in our countries. At first, they will laugh because they think they are powerful.
But believe me, they all have businesses in our countries and when they come to open accounts or when they need to withdraw their money, we will tell them “sorry Mr., you are on the anti-regime list”. But why don’t we? We need a leader to drive it forward, and you will see how we begin to level the world.
Adversity has the gift of awakening talents that would have remained dormant in prosperity (Horace). An injustice like the one they do to an individual, company or country is equal to a threat to the whole society! The real tragedy of the poor people is the poverty of their aspirations, that’s why they don’t fight and the Empire blocks them and squeezes them until they take away the country and the oil and start cutting off your electricity, water, gas, gasoline, education and the air you breathe until you pay them the credits they are going to grant you!
Because, of course, the “regime change” comes loaded with money, they lend you to “fix” the country, but they charge you everything until they squeeze you, until you fall into default, and it becomes unsustainable, as happened for example with Argentina, privatizing the water, electricity, gas, etc. Public and basic services that they have not allowed us to improve due to the blockade, but it is still free in Venezuela, not like in Colombia that you do not have left to eat.
Suffering deserves respect, submitting is despicable. There are no nations, there is only humanity and if we don’t understand that, there will be no nations because there will be no humanity. No more empire. No more blockade of Venezuela. No more oppression. No more penalties. Venezuela is there to be respected and is entitled to make its own decisions.
Venezuela has a great team in his government, just having Tareck El Aissami as Economic Vice President and Minister of Oil and Delcy Rodríguez as Vice President is like having Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonel Messi on the same team.
I have not finished, now we are going to see my beloved Colombia, I want to compare it with Venezuela. Even if you don’t like the comparison. The Colombian minimum salary today is USD 250 on average with transportation subsidies, etc. We compare what a Colombian does with those USD 250.
Venezuela today is dollarized, nobody’s salary is really less than $250. It’s not $10 as they say because during the month the state deposits many subsidies on your country card.
Now let’s look at this chart:
|VENEZUELAN WAGE USD 200||COLOMBIAN WAGE USD 200|
|However, Venezuelan has these expenses:||Now let’s see the Colombians:|
|Electricity (monthly): U$ 0||Electricity (monthly): U$ 40-60|
|Gas (monthly): U$ 0||Gas (monthly): U$ 20-30|
|Water (monthly): U$ 0||Water (monthly): U$ 40-60|
|Petrol: U$ 0||You could have a car, pay for gasoline at international prices, but you won’t even use it to go out for a ride.|
|School (monthly): U$ 0||School (monthly): U$ 0|
|Public Transportation (monthly): U$ 0||Public Transportation (monthly): $100 minimum average for a round trip to work.|
|University (monthly): U$ 0||University month: Don’t even mention it|
|Housing (monthly): Free||Housing (monthly rent): USD $200|
|Besides, they receive 30 to 60 kilos of food a month that the government brings them from house to house and it costs a family zero.||In the end U$ 250 per month is not enough. They would be missing at least $350 a month, leaving nutrition away, not included! meaning without the right to eat!|
So, by the end of the month the Venezuelan people has some money and manage to eat, and the Colombian has debts and didn’t manage to eat. I understand that this year is atypical and due to Covid-19 companies have suffered. But that is when the state has to prioritize, put its hand in its pocket for a couple of years, steal less in contracts in general, sorry to earn less, I meant to say, and make the money yield to relieve the companies, so they can relieve their employees. Because we are already talking about raising the minimum wage by 2% for 2021. Are they going to allow that?
That 2% is going to go away when the prices of food, transportation and other increases, and they will be worse than in 2012. It is as if they had the minimum salary of the year 2012 in the year 2021. Do you follow me? Covid-19 is not people’s problem, it is a state problem. The people cannot pay with an increase of 2% because the wise men of the state cannot think of how to raise them by at least 25% and lower the services by at least 20% at cost. If they don’t know how to do it, I’m willing, if they want, I’ll go and solve it for them in a single day.
Are you going to leave this decision to the “aristocracy” to go down to the middle of the battlefield as in the time of the battles of Scotland with England, with their army of soldiers composed by poor people who waited behind while they negotiate in between them the lands, and then ride back up and told the people “today there will be no war”, we couldn’t achieve anything?
Colombia needs a William Wallace, a Che Guevara, who says NO. You cannot allow that those who negotiate the minimum wage for you be the same as ANDI (National Industrial Association) who want to pay you less. Do you understand that? They criticize so much Venezuela and look at the salary comparison today. Now, if for you a 2% salary increase is fair, then you have the government you deserve, and I have no opinion on this matter. The banks should not receive more than the special tax called 4 timesthousand, that should go to the people.
Even in Italy, the government gives its employees coupons for food!
The State must find a formula to raise salary with subsidies plus a salary increase and a reduction in services, equivalent to a minimum of 50%, and even so, they will continue to live in misery, but eating. In Venezuela, the only corruption I have seen is from the famous American lobbyists who go there and steal millions of dollars from the government promising to fix the situation between the countries.
It was the USA who legalized corruption and set up a “lobby” for it, but it only works for them, they say that they fix the relations of the countries and for that, they want millions of dollars and businesses. That is American corruption.
Letter # 03 Date: January 1st, 2021
Title: For my great loves: Camilla, Shadi, Isham, Jad, Mariam, Charlotte.
Addressed to: His children
For my great loves: Camilla, Shadi, Isham, Jad, Mariam, Charlotte.
Here from this horrible place and without nothing to do I want to give you some advice that could be good all your life, I have always applied it to mine, and I am sure you will do everything in life better than me.
There is no greater happiness for a father than his children surpass him.
When you wake up in the morning, think about the privilege of living, breathing, thinking, loving, enjoying, praising God. It takes very little to have a happy life, everything is within oneself and how we take life.
Everything we hear is just an opinion, not a fact, everything we see is a perspective, not the truth, so, beloveds, let’s not waste time arguing about what a good person should be, be a good one and that’s it.
Don’t waste time fighting with someone you love either, that’s why Camilla and I never fight.
Nowhere else can a man find a calmer and more undisturbed retreat than in his own soul, so a noble man sets goals higher than himself, which generates aspiration, that’s what I’ve done all my life.
The petty man produces ambition, and that is what the inferior man aspires by looking for the “easy” ways.
If someone shows me that what I want to do or do is not right, I gladly accept it because I accept the truth and no one has ever been hurt by the truth.
Always keep in mind, my beloveds, that if something is not right, don’t do it and if it is not true, don’t say it. Nothing spreads faster than slander, and the damage it can cause could be irreversible.
Life in the end is an opinion, you know all the people I help and so many more you have no idea, that’s why you must know that the only wealth that a man keeps forever is the one that has been given away.
Happiness is not in how much money you have, but in how many faces smiles when they see you because you changed their lives; that is true happiness.
You have to do good to others naturally, it must come from the soul without expecting anything in return.
In life, it is not being on the side of the majority what is right, it’s being on the side of the sense what is right.
Just worry about doing the correct thing and having dignity and personality. A person without personality is nothing.
Do not live life like crazy thinking that it could be your last day because you could provoke it to be your last.
I always tell them to be patient, I mention to them so much, that Shadi even tattooed it on his back, but don’t confuse patience, a virtue of courage, with the timid indolence of the coward who gives up. Neither I nor you ever give up.
If you achieve something good in life with hard work, the work passes quickly, but the welfare remains, whereas if you do something shameful pursuing pleasure, the pleasure passes quickly, but the shame remains.
Many times in life people do not achieve their goals because they believe they are impossible to achieve, you who knows me and knows that everything I do would seem impossible to anyone else and have seen that everything can be achieved with patience and persistence.
Many have tried, but they withdraw when they were already at the gates of achievement without knowing it, persistence breaks everything, I have always told you that.
It is not that we have not much time, but that we lose a lot of it.
Each goal you set, keep your attention on it, do each task as if it were the last, avoid drama, vanity and complaining about the situation.
Stoicism does not teach you to give up but to manage your emotions. Therefore, be Stoic.
I have always taught you that the limit is not the sky, the limit is the mind.
You can achieve anything you propose to do in life.
Live a good life, God is fair, he will not care how much of a believer you were, instead he will see the virtues you had in life.
In life, you can choose between being the light that shines or the mirror that reflects it, we must always try to be the light that shines.
In this world, there are only two races: the good men and the bad men, that is how they should see people and not because of their origin or skin color.
Living is not just existing and creating, it’s knowing how to enjoy and suffer and not sleep without dreaming.
There will always be problems, we must learn to anticipate their arrival, so when they arrive, they will have less power.
Diamonds can only be polished with friction, just as people cannot be trained without being tested.
This is one more test that we will overcome together. Always united. United, nobody can with us. A United family is the most important thing to live a healthy and happy life.
The strength of a warrior is in the size of his heart, there will always be storms in their lives, but remember, all the great men who have failed in life is because they have not learned to dance during the storm.
Just because they don’t know how to dance, they have lost.
Because you don’t have to wait for the storm to pass, you have to learn to dance in the rain.
One last piece of advice, if you are going to make a technical stop to refuel the plane, choose Iceland, never do it in Cape Verde.
I love them more than my life.
Sal Prison, January 1st /2021
Letter # 04 Date: January 16, 2021
Title: Goodbye Trump and welcome President Joe Biden
Addressed to: Joe Biden
“Prison is essentially a shortage of space offset by an abundance of time; to an inmate, both are palpable.” So, he wrote the Russian-American poet Joseph Brodsky. Over the course of the last seven months of illegal detention in Cape Verde, I have had plenty of time (but not much light) to catch up on my reading. I spend 22 hours a day without electricity and, apart from 20 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon from Monday to Friday, that I am allowed a consultation with my local lawyer, I am not allowed to speak to anyone. I am being held in conditions that the US State Department itself has described as “…life-threatening”.
I have also had “plenty of time” to try to understand why Donald Trump was so committed to attack the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and those of us who work to help the people of Venezuela satisfy their basic needs. The answer is simple: Trump grew up hating socialism, Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims, and just about everything else in life except himself. Voltaire said about self-love that, “like the human reproductive system, it is necessary, it gives us pleasure, and we have to hide it”.
Trump was obviously walking around naked. So, why does he hate us? Because, if the poor people progress, he’ll not be able to exploit them much more. His attitude is nothing more than basically the capitalist idea of exploiting the workers as much as possible so that they produce as much as possible with as little expense as possible.
To achieve his goals, he has to sell the idea that socialism is bad, that Venezuela is dominated by corruption, and that all its rulers, employees, and contractors are corrupt.
He did it in many ways.
One of the most effective ways has been to recruit bloggers from all over the world. Millions of dollars have been spent hiring hundreds of bloggers, influencers, and creating pseudo-news websites to attack countries considered to be a threat.
The objective is to tell a lie a million times until people believe it to be “the truth.” Trump’s philosophy is one of the street thug: he shouts out loud enough about freedom of thoughts, but those who think differently from me will die.
Those are his tactics when it comes to China, Venezuela and much of the rest of the world. He has humiliated Latinos, Muslims, and African Americans. If you read what these paid bloggers are saying (and I recommend that you read them in their entirely, rather than skim through the headlines) you will notice that most of the time, they launch their attacks using unfounded, superficial, and finally fake unsubstantiated news. That shows the real and negative reasons behind this effort.
Reporting the news is a normal activity, but when the same person launches a daily attack on another person, it is a clear attempt to change the image and reputation of that other person.
Trump produces misinformation multiplied by 20 times through his paid bloggers, knowing exactly how many times it must be repeated to turn a lie into a “false truth.” He used his own Twitter account as a sharp blade to destroy the truth and promote half-truths and outright lies. We know Trump doesn’t read much, but maybe if he had listened to James Allen’s words “Self-control is strength, right thought is mastery, and calm is power,” who knows what he might have revealed.
It is like being judged without an investigation, without evidence. Trump and his partners in crime do this on the daily basis to the government of President Maduro and everyone who works for him. Trump openly incites violence against other sovereign states, but now also, in a pathetic last move, within the United States itself where he refused to admit that he was defeated and nearly pulled off a coup. And they call us the Third World and the Banana Republics!
But we Venezuelans know how he is. We are not stupid. We see the reality of the obstacles that Trump has placed in our path. Furthermore, we don’t believe his lies. We believe in our government and in our country, which is advancing under the leadership of President Nicolás Maduro.
It’s not just bloggers, Bill Clinton’s creation of OFAC has given Trump his own “superpower” just like the heroes of the comic books he loves. What is OFAC, and how has it given Trump an unimaginable advantage over foreign adversaries? It’s simple:
You destroy a country by stopping it from working with you, stopping selling it supplies, medicine, basic food, and freezing its foreign assets ($70 billion as for Venezuela). They stop lending money, stop the Venezuelan oil tankers from transporting crude oil, bringing food and gasoline, Venezuelan companies abroad are expropriated, such as CITGO, all that to induce the country to go into decline because nobody dares to risk going to Venezuela or working with Venezuela. By this way, they try to force a “regime change” but as Trump himself acknowledges, “we had not expected that Maduro or the people of Venezuela would be so resistant.” It is exactly because of this situation that OFAC was created. The ultimate plan B.
Let’s not forget that the OFAC is a weapon of mass destruction created to support extraterritorial judicial overreach on a scale never seen in world history. Trump and his partners in crime have elevated the OFAC political designation to an almost criminal designation. OFAC can charge anyone, at any time, without notice, without the opportunity to address previous designation issues, before the destruction of businesses built after years of hard work, and before the destruction of lives and reputations. OFAC then opens its mouth to swallow the pleas and fees on an unprecedented scale. All this without mentioning the years it takes to be considered worthy of being named “safe” and the millions in legal fees paid to attorneys who until recently worked with the very people who are destroying their existence.
The same happens to me.
They have sanctioned me, my children and my brothers only for apparently “being the children or brothers of Alex Saab”. Merely by being of my blood and flesh, they ruin their lives. And why? So, they can overthrow a legitimate government and replace it with puppets for profit? They cause the chaos that results from a fundamental misunderstanding of cultures, creating mistrust and hatred, turning neighbor against neighbor, all with the goal of doling out contracts to its partners to rebuild the infrastructure whose devastation he openly encouraged.
That’s where bloggers come in. If you read any of the OFAC sanctions notices, they prove nothing. They just say, “The XYZ website says that someone, anyone is corrupt, so he must be.” It’s that simple. Read them, they are public domain. It’s craziness. Being judged by social networks. Investigations conducted through keystrokes rather than proper evidence gathering.
Once politically sanctioned, try to open a bank account. They’ll tell you, “Sorry, you’re on the OFAC corruption list.” Out of the blue, they’ll close your accounts, cancel your credit cards, even your Netflix account will be cancelled, and threw into their “waste heap.” Is the world going to stand by and let this happen? Who made Trump the judge of the world? How can he judge or ruin someone’s reputation without any proof? He, more than anyone else, has used and abused the infamous OFAC list to try to achieve his so-called “regime change”.
We welcome the election of President Joe Biden, and we can only pray that he changes the corrosive policies made by Trump.
“Adversity tends to awaken talents that were sleep in prosperous times,” so he wrote the Roman poet Horace. The injustices committed by Trump and Pompeo against Venezuela will not be forgotten. Venezuela will be here long after both have left the political arena. Venezuela will rise united and stronger than ever, ready to retake its seat at the top table of political and economic speech not only in the Americas, but throughout the world, under the leadership of President Maduro.
We will overcome
The news agency Russia Today published, on its website, the interview that we offer below. In it, Saab makes it clear that the informative and judicial framework, which is directed against him, must be understood as part of Washington’s aggression against Venezuela and offers details about the irregularities, and political interests, that conspire to make possible his kidnapping on the island of Cape Verde.
This interview shows Alex Saab’s commitment to the revolutionary government; demonstrating that the legal process that he is going through is nothing but a hoax by the hegemony to advance in the destruction of the Venezuelan democratic model.
He makes palpable his hope that all these legal plots will be defeated and once again, he shows the world his unwavering commitment and his enormous gratitude to the people of Venezuela, of which he considers himself son and defender.
Interview # 01 Date: February 4, 2021 Medium: RT
Title: “I am the target of an unprecedented judicial overreach to overthrow Maduro”
The name of the Venezuelan businessman and diplomat Alex Saab, currently under house arrest in Cape Verde for alleged money laundering, has not stopped circulating recently. The US press puts him at the head of “a vast network of corruption” linked to the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.
The headlines multiplied after Saab was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in July 2019, for allegedly having “overvalued contracts” for the construction of affordable housing in Venezuela, and for allowing Maduro to “significantly benefit” from the importation and distribution of food, through the Local Committees for Supply and Production (CLAP), a state mechanism that has been key to the purchase of basic needs, in the midst of economic sanctions.
Almost a year after that unilateral measure was taken by Washington, Saab was arrested on June 12th, 2020 while making a technical stop in Cape Verde, despite his diplomatic status as a special envoy for Venezuela. After that process, which has been branded by his defense as an “unprecedented judicial overreach” to overthrow Maduro, he was finally granted house arrest in January of this year, with a threat of extradition to the US still over his shoulders.
From his place of confinement, Saab talks to RT about the interests he considers to be behind his “persecution”, the harassment he has suffered from the Cape Verde authorities, the role of the US in his prosecution and the “absurd conspiracy theory” about its functions. In addition, he denounces the conditions of “psychological pressure” and the obstacles that he has had to meet with his doctors, lawyers and relatives, despite having been released from prison.
RT: The Colombian media insist on defining you as a “Colombian businessman”, while Venezuela recognizes you as a citizen (and a special envoy) of that country. Why this difference?
AS: Although I am proud of my Barranquillan and Lebanese origin, although in Colombia, I had one of the largest fashion clothing manufacturing companies and more than 300 stores throughout the country since I was 18 years old, when I founded my company, which I alternated with investments in construction projects, it was in Venezuela where, thanks to God, I was able to establish my greatest business initiatives and make them prosper with a magnitude that made a difference.
I am also truly grateful to Presidents Chávez and President Maduro, and to the Venezuelan people, for giving me the opportunities that have been presented to me since 2000. Starting with construction, I have been able to show that I can deliver major projects on time and on budget.
This political motivated and extraterritorial judicial overreach of the US, and the consequent economic blockade of Venezuela, have meant that many companies that would be delighted to negotiate with the country have been forced to withdraw from business initiatives.
This has made it necessary to look for solutions to create new supply chains, logistics, financing, and commercial relationships, often with companies and countries that historically would have been left out of the Venezuelan market, due to the presence of US companies. Especially the case in sectors like food supply, pharmaceutical and consumer goods.
The experience that my partners and I acquired while managing and organizing the logistics involved in a major social housing contract (which began in 2011) was recognized by Maduro’s Government, who gave us our first contract to become providers of the food program for social welfare, in 2015.
Once again, we accomplish the deadlines with the budget we had. Based on that early success and, opposite to unfounded accusations in some media corporations, while today I am not the only provider of the program, I am one of the largest. I currently generate about 100,000 jobs in Venezuela in different sectors.
I was honored and grateful to be appointed special envoy of the Government of Venezuela, in April 2018, to continue collaborating in the supply of basic needs like food and medicine, a role that has become more important since the start of the pandemic.
Venezuela has been under political and economic attack for many years. One of the reasons of this designation was to offset this threat by giving me diplomatic immunity and inviolability to travel and negotiate freely on behalf of the Republic, as diplomatic agents have done for centuries.
Those who want to attack me and Venezuela should be informed and understand the reality of being the target of unprecedented and politically motivated judicial overreach before making frivolous comments; they should know the reality of the economic blockade and its impact on life in Venezuela; they should learn how this has caused a massive increase in transportation, insurance and logistics costs.
None of this is mentioned because the press and pseudo-news websites lure readers by selling sensationalist stories of corruption and outrageous prices, instead of worrying about the details of the cost of insurance, or the availability of cargo ships that are not threatened with US sanctions.
Therefore, I am a proud son of Barranquilla and a proud son of Lebanese and Palestinian immigrants. However, I am just as proud and honored to be a Venezuelan citizen who has been able to give back to the country and to the people what they have given me so much.
RT: What is your relationship with the Venezuelan government and its president?
A.S.: My relationship is no different from the one of other people who have been called to help Venezuela in a time of national need, caused by the actions of outsiders who seek to bring down its legitimate government. I have worked diligently at all times, being aware of the responsibility that has been entrusted to me. I hope that being a special envoy and, more recently, receiving the responsibility of being permanent representative of Venezuela in the African Union reflects that I am carrying out the tasks that have been assigned to me in a way that is appreciated by the Government and the people.
RT: Do you consider that you are the object of an attack for political purposes? Why?
A.S.: Of course, I’m not the real target. The goal of this politically motivated and judicial overreach by the US, and by some of its regional cronies, is to weaken President Maduro and his government by trying to use me to get “information to use against him.”
The use of the so-called ‘lawfare’ in legal proceedings for political purposes by the US is well known, as its policy of sanctions against Venezuela, which only harms the people. All this makes my detention arbitrary and illegal.
I was arrested based on an Interpol Red Notice that did not exist. There was also no arrest warrant from the US or Cape Verde.
This can be seen from the moment when the false accusations against me begin because what they aim is to attack the Government. President Trump’s administration had an obsession with Venezuela and Maduro and, throughout his term, his regime used all the mechanisms at his disposal to annihilate them. I am a simple instrument to achieve their real goal. I only hope that President Biden can fix what the Trump administration has destroyed, especially if he wants to show that his way of doing politics is different and that he really respects the separation of powers and the rule of law.
RT: Your lawyers have said that the process against you is full of irregularities. What are the main ones?
AS: Where to start? Watching the maneuver of the Cape Verdean authorities when they have tried to justify their illegal behavior has been extraordinary. A country that claims to be the icon of African democracy has shown that it is nothing more than a very thin coating of clichés. As one of my lawyers, Baltasar Garzón, says, because of the “poisoned tree” theory, a process that begins with an illegal detention is illegal in itself.
When I was illegally detained, on June 12th, 2020, I was on my way to Tehran and only landed in Cape Verde to make a technical stop to refuel. They obviously expected me and arrested me based on an Interpol Red Notice that did not exist. There was also no arrest warrant from the US or Cape Verde. The red notice was custom-made, at the request of the US, and was only issued after my arrest, the next day, June 13th. Interpol decided to cancel it four days later, due to the illegality that my lawyers immediately demonstrated.
According to international law, if Cape Verde did not want to recognize my status, they should have declared me “persona non grata” (unwelcome person) and invite me to continue my journey. Instead, at the request of the US, they chose to deliberately and calculatedly engage in a politically motivated process, without thinking of the consequences.
I was detained without an order from Interpol or the US, for about 25 days, until Washington sent the request for detention through diplomatic channels. I had with me documents that irrefutably proved my status as a special envoy and the nature of my mission. Furthermore, both countries Venezuela and Iran sent letters protesting my detention and stressing my diplomatic immunity, immediately after they learned of my illegal detention.
I have been submitted to physical and psychological torture, as I have denounced. The shameful way my house arrest was handled is inexcusable.
My rights as a diplomat were not respected. The evidence was hidden and the principal judge on Sal Island “did not see it.” Since then, the irregularities have been accumulating and taking place, in what my lawyers have called an unprecedented judicial process, in which practically none of their arguments have been heard by the Cape Verde courts.
Fortunately, the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has overcome the fog of Cape Verdean disinformation and has recognized my immunity and its inviolability. Even when Cape Verde continues to refuse to accomplish the Court’s order, I know that international law is on my side.
As Rutsel Martha, Interpol’s former head of legal affairs, explains, its own rules require that Cape Verde refrains from detaining me because of my status as a special envoy (Interpol cancelled the red notice as soon as Venezuela informed that I was a special envoy on a humanitarian mission).
RT: You have been linked to Iran, Turkey and Russia, they affirm that your actions would have “repercussions on the security of the hemisphere.” To what do you attribute this designation?
A.S.: These statements are based on the US imperialistic vision, in which the world continues to be divided into “good guys and bad guys; we and them”. America needs to stop seeing ghosts everywhere. His speech may serve to manipulate his citizens, but it is hollow and lacking of support. My relations with these countries are not framed by some absurd conspiracy theory, they are based on symbiotic needs in the context of a common aggressor.
Venezuela is a sovereign State that is entitled to manage its affairs as they want and with whomever they want. This right is also protected by the Charter of the United Nations, which prohibits interference in the internal affairs of one sovereign State by another. The last time I checked, the US was a signatory of the UN Charter.
RT: Do you consider that Cape Verde acted under pressure from the US by arresting you and not allowing your immunity to be respected?
AS: Yes, of course. There is no other explanation, international law is clear regarding my right to inviolability and immunity as a diplomatic agent.
RT: You denounced, in a letter addressed to Trump, the “inhuman” conditions in which you were being held, in addition to the issue of your state of health. Why did the house arrest measure took so long?
A.S.: I have been the subject of physical and psychological torture, as I have denounced. The shameful way my house arrest was handled is inexcusable.
After refusing my request of house arrest for seven months and refusing to obey the order of December 2nd, 2020, of the ECOWAS Court, the Attorney General of Cape Verde discreetly filed, without notifying my defense team, a motion on January 20th and received approval to release me to house arrest on January 21st. I say this cynically because this coincided with the ECOWAS Council of Ministers meeting on the same date, and just before the ECOWAS Heads of State Summit on January 23rd.
Cape Verde sent a copy of its own court’s resolution to the Council of Ministers on January 21st, like a child with an unexpectedly good school report, who despite his parents’ worst fears, mistakes them with an A+ Remarkable grade instead of a suspension.
To be honest, Cape Verde gave me access to house arrest just to cynically avoid any discussion about its disrespect to the ECOWAS Court: an unlawful house arrest, in which I am not allowed to see my doctors and my team of lawyers.
They don’t allow me to communicate freely, write letters, use a cell phone, receive visits from relatives, nothing. It’s just like prison or worse, a complete farce. I am in a house surrounded by more than 50 armed officers from the Army and the Police, they even control my food. It is the same or worse than prison conditions, with the permanent psychological pressure to which I am exposed. I can’t even go out into the backyard without a drone filming me from the sky, even when I’m with my local lawyers. There are armed men in the yard. What kind of house arrest is this? A farce
Eventually, this tremendous persecution will be revealed and all the tricks that are being used against me will be exposed.
In prison, I was kept in conditions that the US State Department itself has said “are life-threatening.” Drug traffickers are treated better than me, a diplomatic agent. There are signs everywhere of the work of a third party whose name, as in a scene from Harry Potter, “cannot be mentioned.” Probably, all in an attempt to break my will and turn me against Maduro and his government. I will never do it because neither I nor Venezuela have done anything wrong. Venezuela is entitled to manage the welfare of its people, and no political appointment through self-serving sanctions or intimidation will cause its detour from this path.
RT: Now that the term of your provisional arrest with a view to extradition has expired, what are your expectations of the process?
A.S.: I will never lose hope that everything will be solved. I know that I have the truth on my side and that my legal team has created a forceful defense, which quality and strength have surprised many, including the political and legal establishment of Cape Verde, and those who drive it from the shadows. What we are showing the world is that if you are not afraid, if you have the belief and the truth on your side, if you stay focused, you will prevail. In due time, this tremendous persecution will be revealed and all the tricks that are being used against me will be exposed.
RT: In light of the letter you sent to Trump, published by the press, what do you expect from the Biden Administration regarding your case?
A.S.: I hope, as I said before, that it shows that it’s true that he respects the rule of law. His term begins just after Trump promoted a coup attempt in his country. Quite symbolic, of course. Biden has the opportunity to change Trump’s bad choices, to focus on everything related to his foreign policy, to recover the separation of powers, in short, to overcome the ghosts of the past.
RT: Your defense says that you are “a means to achieve a more important outcome,” which is the government of Nicolás Maduro. How do you explain this statement?
A.S.: As I have already said, my diplomatic appointments and the recognition of President Maduro make his enemies think that I could be a way to help his defeat. Here we are not only talking about Alex Saab, the whole process of unfounded accusations from the US, up to my arrest in Cape Verde and the physical and psychological torture to which I have been submitted, everything has a political motivation. An Extraterritorial judicial overreach for political reasons, nothing more and nothing less than to overthrow President Maduro and bring Venezuela to its knees.
RT: What would be, for you, the best and the worst scenario for the resolution of your case? What importance do you attribute to the media coverage surrounding your arrest?
A.S.: First, that Cape Verde shows that it is really the icon of the rule of law that it claims to be, to recognize my immunity and its inviolability and my immediate release to continue with my special mission.
Second, I will continue to refute all baseless allegations that have been made against me by discredited and hired witnesses in the US. As for the media circus surrounding my case, it’s a fact of the world of social media, the instant gratification, and the 24-hour news cycle that we live in. Fighting it only gives sensationalist tabloids and pseudo-news websites the advertising oxygen they crave. I will continue to put my faith in the Almighty and trust that He will look up to that I come out of this nightmare bloodied but firm and strong.
Interview # 02 Date: March 3, 2021 News channel: EFE
A man kidnapped, isolated, harassed and tortured by orders of the most cynical and murderous empire in human history, shows us; in these extracts from an interview made by the EFE agency, the strength of his principles and the details of his illegal arrest.
The EFE interview plays with bad intentions and a journalism called “Presstitute” that intoxicates the editorial line of the hegemonic media corporations and echoes the attacks that the imperialist right wing has directed against Alex, who results to be an annoyance for their plans. Hence, this news channel uses the empty arguments of a former Venezuelan prosecutor, today a spokesperson protected by Uribe’s criminal network, to throw a cloak of doubt on Saab’s commitment to the well-being of the people in struggle.
This interview represents a neat defense of the dignity of Alex Saab, who insists on accusing the network of imperial propaganda that seeks to turn his case into a circus of fake news and sensationalist gossip, criminalizing the solidarity action of a class-conscious businessman, who became a symbol of resistance against the coercive measures of the hegemonic power.
EFE: Almost nine months have passed since your arrest in Cape Verde. How does it feel to have gone from prison to house arrest?
AS: To be honest, nothing has really changed. I’m under house arrest just by name only. I am watched by 50 armed guards, my lawyers are searched when they come and when they leave, my medicine bottles are emptied, even when they are new and sealed. If I go out into the garden, the National Police follows my every move with drones. I am not allowed to use Internet and if I want to talk to my family, I have to do it with a mobile provided and under the surveillance of the National Police.
The police have all the keys to the house, so I have absolutely no privacy. They can come in when they want, actually they do, daytime or nighttime. I can’t close any doors, only the police can.
This is a fake house arrest for public relations purposes. Cape Verde has not complied with the unanimous and binding decision of the ECOWAS Court of Justice of December 2nd, 2020, which includes allowing me access to the specialized medical care that, as a cancer patient, I need.
It is no coincidence that Cape Verde granted me house arrest just before the ECOWAS Council of Ministers meeting on January 21st – 22nd and the ECOWAS Heads of State meeting on January 23rd.
This is a calculated and cynical move to allow Cape Verde to continue hiding behind the façade of “an African success story” or “Africa’s model of democracy”. All of which is really ironic, as this current Cape Verdean government isn’t even sure it wants to be ‘African’.
EFE: You requested house arrest for health reasons. Has your health improved?
AS: In a word, no. Cape Verde continues to deny me access to the medical specialists of my choice, even at my expense. With so many armed guards around me, I am very stressed.
The Cape Verdean game of psychological torture, begun in prison and continued under this false house arrest. The guards are continually charging their weapons at close range within earshot and I fear it will only take one mistake, one miscalculation on their part, one finger slip and who knows what might happen.
The stress is making my insomnia worse, which in turn is affecting my nutrition, and hence I am still losing weight. I think I have already lost a little less than 30 kg of corporal mass since the beginning of my illegal detention.
EFE: Venezuela assures that you are a “Venezuelan citizen”, something that was not public knowledge when your arrest occurred. Do you have both nationalities? Do you resign from your Colombian nationality, kept the Venezuelan only?
AS: I ignore why my citizenship had to be “public knowledge”. I have never sought fame or public recognition as a public figure. I am honored to have become a Venezuelan citizen, as I have stated on several occasions, and proud of my Colombian roots as well as my Lebanese/Palestinian heritage. Furthermore, I am a Venezuelan and Colombian citizen at the same time.
EFE: How did you start working with the government of President Maduro? Did you know Maduro before he was president of Venezuela? If so, how did you two meet?
AS: Let me say that I am deeply grateful to Presidents Chávez and Maduro and to the Venezuelan people for giving me the opportunities that have been presented to me since the year 2000. I met President Maduro when he was Minister of Foreign Affairs of President Chávez administration.
I started working in different states of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela during president Chávez administration. At the beginning of 2011 with the construction of a social housing projects, I have been able to demonstrate that I can deliver major projects on time and within budget.
The United States, pursuing its extraterritorial judicial overreach for political reasons and its economic blockade to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has made it necessary to seek internal solutions to create new supply chains, logistics, financing, and trade relations.
The experience I got while managing and organizing the logistics involved in the social housing contract was recognized by the government of President Maduro, and I was entrusted with my first contract to be a provider for the government’s social welfare food program in 2015. I am pleased to say which, once again, I was able to deliver on time and within budget.
This has allowed me to currently employ 100,000 people in Venezuela and elsewhere in different businesses that I have developed as an entrepreneur.
I had the honor of being appointed Special Envoy of the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela in April 2018 to continue collaborating in the supply of basic food and medicine. This is a function that has become more important since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic.
More recently, I have been given the additional responsibility of being appointed Permanent Deputy for the African Union. This is not only a tremendous confirmation of President Maduro’s confidence in me, but also a reflection of the importance that President Maduro and his government gives to the development of ties with the nations of Africa, beyond the historical relations with the African members of OPEC.
EFE: Since you were arrested in Cape Verde, have you spoken, directly or indirectly, with President Maduro? If so, what did the president say to you?
AS: I have not spoken with President Maduro, but I am delighted to have received a message of support and encouragement through official channels that I appreciate.
EFE: The former prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz accused you in 2017 of being an alleged “front man” for Maduro, relating you to the company Group Grand Limited (GGL). What do you have to say about it?
AS: It is sad to see that someone who has benefited so much from a country, like the former prosecutor, now turns against that same country, so I suppose it is a political miscalculation. She is an irrelevant person which increasingly seeks to make unsubstantiated claims just to stay in the spotlight.
As I have said before, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has been under political and economic attack for many years. One of the reasons for my appointment as Special Envoy was precisely to offset this threat and provide me with immunity, and inviolability, to travel and negotiate freely on behalf of the Republic; just as diplomatic agents have done for centuries.
Those who want to attack me and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela should first educate themselves and understand the reality of being the target of unprecedented politically motivated judicial overreach by the United States, before making comments without bases. They should understand the reality of the economic blockade and its impact on the lives of the people of Venezuela. They should learn how this has caused a massive increase in transportation, insurance, and other logistics costs.
Why does the former prosecutor never mention these factors? Why do your friends in the media corporations and pseudo-news sites, which many call “pressitutes”, only want tabloid gossip about “corruption” price gouging”, to attract readers instead of worrying about the details of insurance costs, or the availability of cargo ships that are not threatened with sanctions by the United States? Maybe you should ask some of these pseudo news sites where the real source of funding for her and fake news comes from.
EFE: The United States also alleges that you are a “front man” for President Maduro and accuses you of having laundered, together with your partner Álvaro Pulido, up to 350 million dollars. What do you have to say about that?
AS: Since my indictment in July 2019, the United States has not presented a single piece of evidence to support the accusations that have been made. Not even one. The only evidence consists of hints and half-truths from discredited witnesses who received US citizenship in exchange.
The United States is ashamed enough to have listened to these alleged co-conspirators of mine to describe them as “former Colombian nationals” in the extradition request. If the US doesn’t even dare to acknowledge them as his own citizens, then how much faith do they really have in their evidence?
As for the $350 million figure, my defense team has put together a powerful denial to the charges and I know that, if the time comes, we will be able to strongly dismiss them.
You forgot to mention that the extradition request also makes allegations of payments totaling approximately $400,000 to “corrupt officials.” We have been able to show that far from payments to “corrupt officials” they were for credit card bills.
EFE: Do you think that the extradition request is a settling of scores between the United States and President Maduro?
AS: The fact is that Cape Verde could not and should not stop me. I was (and still am) a Special Envoy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela conducting a Special Humanitarian Mission to procure basic needs like food, medicine, and medical equipment for the people of Venezuela.
Therefore, I had immunity and inviolability, as established by laws dating from ages old laws that govern the movement of diplomats and political agents around the world.
My illegal detention is entirely politically motivated, and it is pathetic that the Cape Verdean government has bowed the knee to the political will of the United States, instead of preserving its own dignity and refusing to participate in this farce of politically motivated judicial overreach.
What is very frustrating is that while the opposition and their foreign supporters keep telling anyone who will listen what they are against, they refuse to say what they are for or supporting. The opposition has not governed for more than 20 years and has no concept of what it means to govern when dealing with an economic blockade and sanctions that have not only been declared illegal by the United Nations Special Rapporteur, following her recent visit to Venezuela, but are also unprecedented in history.
Couch critics and bigmouths do not make a government. Leadership and determination are needed, which is what President Maduro and his government have shown.
President Chavez and now President Maduro have held elections on time, every time, but none of them has received any recognition for upholding the democratic process. Any election in which the opposition does not win is considered “not free and fair.” So, is Venezuela going to be held hostage until the “right” answer is produced? Has the opposition really asked the people of Venezuela what they want? The real Venezuelans, not those sitting in their Miami condos, have voted by millions for President Maduro.
Venezuela is blessed with an incredible wealth of natural resources. Gold, oil, coal – Venezuela has them all, but outside parties seem to want to claim them for themselves.
Politically motivated detractors only see what they want to see. They do not recognize the progress of the Venezuelan economy. Just look at the Caracas Stock Exchange, which is hitting new highs, with GDP likely to grow after years of negative numbers, and supermarket shelves relatively full. All of this has taken place thanks to President Maduro’s careful management of the economy in incredibly difficult times caused by the United States.
EFE: The request for his arrest came from the Government of Donald Trump. What do you expect from the Biden Administration in his case?
AS: President Biden has announced that “America is back!” That “the United States is ready” to take backs its seat at the table of nations that respect the rule of law and its international obligations. Actions speak louder than words, so I can only hope that President Biden’s action lives up to his words.
EFE: Do you consider that Cape Verde acted under pressure from the United States by arresting you, and not respecting the immunity that Venezuela claims you have as a “special envoy”?
AS: Yes, of course, it is clear and unequivocal.
EFE: If the ECOWAS Court of Justice rules against your extradition process, do you trust that Cape Verde will abide by that sentence?
AS: If, thanks to the Almighty, the ECOWAS court rules in this way, I can only pray that the current regime in Cape Verde sees it as an opportunity to save what remains of the charade of “a model of African democracy”. And break free from the political spell cast by the Trump regime and honor that decision.
EFE: If Cape Verde finally gave birth to your extradition to the United States, would you be willing to collaborate with the American Justice? Do you think you would continue to have the support of Venezuela?
AS: No, I would not collaborate with the United States. However, let me be clear. I have not committed any crime. My lawyers and I will fight, if necessary, in all courts to prove it with the full support of Venezuela.
The only culprit here is the United States, which has orchestrated a campaign of political hegemony against Venezuela.
Interview # 03 Date: April 3, 2021 Medium: The Spectator
Title: I am not imprisoned, I am kidnapped”: Alex Saab talks about his case
This interview, granted to the Colombian newspaper El Espectador, represents a new attempt by the right-wing media to mess up the name and sacrifice of Alex Saab; using against him all the artillery of insults that circulate in the prepaid media of the hemisphere. In this interview, they wanted to question his diplomatic status.
But Saab once again responds strongly to the lies of those media corporations, he defends himself with the truth and with the truth about Venezuela; Precisely making visible the details of the judicial pantomime that Cape Verde maintains against him, in these excerpts, Saab again raises his loyalty to President Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution even though his commitment has led him to suffer physical and psychological torture.
We wanted to extract the most outstanding of it, to contribute to the construction of a broader vision of the reality that our diplomatic envoy is going through, and so that the people of Venezuela recognize in Alex Saab a brother of struggles and a militant committed to our cause. In addition, it seeks to raise awareness about the speech that the media corporations manipulate and spreads, when it comes to discrediting those who fight for a fairer and more democratic world.
“I’m not detained, I’m kidnapped” Alex Saab talks about his case
EE: The court of justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) concluded that your capture in Cape Verde is illegal because the Interpol Red Notice was issued one day after his arrest. Therefore, this court concluded that you could not be extradited. Despite everything, the justice and the government of Cape Verde concluded that you will be sent to the US, why this double interpretation?
A.S: Foremost, let’s make one thing clear. I am not detained, I have been kidnapped since June 12th, 2020. There is no justice in Cape Verde, only the will of Ulisses Correia (prime minister of the African country) and his team. Second, the ECOWAS Court ruled that my detention was illegal and arbitrary, as neither a red notice nor an arrest warrant had been issued. The red notice was issued the next day, and no arrest warrant was ever served. Then Interpol had to cancel it because it was illegal.
In other words, I have been kidnapped. There is no other way to describe my situation. When the agent who arrested me, Natalino Correia, told me that he had a red notice for my arrest, he lied. The fact that there was no red notice was acknowledged by his subordinates, who wrote the arrest report from the police records. I’ve been told that Natalino Correia himself keeps a low profile due to the ECOWAS Court ruling. He knows he never showed me a red notice or an arrest warrant, as he pushed me off the plane without shoes and then told the pilot to leave the island immediately.
He then proceeded to lock me in a cell, where they tortured me to make me sign a voluntary extradition. This kidnapper would have never dared to act as he did, without the direct consent of the Attorney General (of Cape Verde, José Landim). Which means Landim lied too.
The Minister of the Interior also participated in the kidnapping and lied. I have even heard rumors that Cape Verde’s National Security Chief, Carlos Reiss, a well-known figurehead for US interests, played a central role in coordinating my kidnapping under direct instructions from the (US) Department of Justice.
And, of course, none of them would have made such a decision without the approval of the Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia. As soon as Venezuela invoked my immunity at the dawn of June 13th, 2020, Prime Minister Ulisses Correia should have ordered my release, but he didn’t, making him complicit in this kidnapping and showing total disrespect for ECOWAS, and centuries of customary international law respecting the movement of diplomats.
This is a serious matter for the people of Cape Verde, who are just days away from parliamentary elections. A recent opinion poll showed that 90% of Cape Verdeans are against my kidnapping and the way the government has handled the case. Both the prime minister and the president (Jorge Carlos Fonseca) knows that they have shown signs of bad judgment. How to explain the behavior of Cape Verde? There is no way to explain Cape Verde’s behavior other than in terms of political convenience and giving in to US judicial overreach.
Cape Verde is a full member of ECOWAS, and never in its history as a member of ECOWAS has Cape Verde raised any objections to their decisions so far. The revised ECOWAS Treaty, together with all the protocols that refer to the ECOWAS Court, clearly state that both the ECOWAS Treaty and the decisions of the ECOWAS Court are binding on all member states. There is no ambiguity and no room for debate.
The judge who read the binding decision of the ECOWAS Court is also from Cape Verde. If Cape Verde under Ulisses Correia is the “Role model of African democracy” that he and his friends say it is, then they should respect customary international law, its obligations to its neighbors, fulfill its international commitments and not bow to the political hegemony.
EE: How were the conditions of your imprisonment in Cape Verde?
A.S: I was kidnapped by Cape Verde in collusion with the US, and for seven months they kept me in conditions that the US State Department itself has described as “dangerous to life”.
From the first day of my abduction, I was tortured and pressured into signing voluntary extradition statements and giving false testimony against my government. Later, Cape Verde physically tortured me three more times in prison, in addition to constant psychological torture. Ask any of the other prisoners who were there. They can confirm it.
My defense team has raised this issue with the Cape Verde authorities on several occasions, but we have never received a response. I am a cancer survivor under treatment and despite numerous requests to be examined by a specialized oncologist (at my expense), I have never received a response. In prison, I was kept in the dark for 23 hours a day, lying on the concrete. I lost part of my sight, so now I have to wear glasses. I was forbidden to speak, or for anyone to speak to me, inside the prison.
EE: How has been your health during the months you have been detained?
A.S: My health has deteriorated considerably in the last nine months. I need to be examined by an independent oncologist, which I requested numerous times without response from the Cape Verdean authorities. I have lost 25 kilos of weight.
Now the place of my kidnapping has moved to a prison surrounded by 50-armed Cape Verdean policemen who watch me 24 hours a day, drones flying overhead if I dare to go out into the garden. The police have keys to the house, and they enter at will, so I have no privacy. My family has not been allowed to visit me even though the Barlovento court authorized it, and I was only helped to make my first phone call to my family five months after my abduction. Even though my matter is a very complex case, I am not allowed to meet with my entire legal team.
EE: How did you get to the lawyer, Baltasar Garzón?
A.S.: Baltasar Garzón is a giant of the European advocacy, and his reputation precedes him. Mutual friends introduced him to me.
EE: Why did the Venezuelan government try to give you the status of diplomatic agent and plenipotentiary ambassador that you did not have before?
A.S: I am disappointed that a journal of your status attempts to misrepresent my official appointments as contrived or fabricated. It is public knowledge that I have worked with the Venezuelan government since 2011, during the time of President Hugo Chávez, and executed many contracts fully.
Unlike others, I continued to work with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at the most critical moment in which it has been attacked economically and politically by the United States. Again, I was able to complete the contracts on time and within budget.
I felt deeply honored to become a public servant of the State when in April 2018 President Maduro named me his Special Envoy. I was entrusted with the task of procuring the basic foods and medicines that the great people of Venezuela needed so much, since the indiscriminate economic and political blockade of the US caused hardship to the country.
It was under my quality of Special Envoy that on a humanitarian Mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran that I was abducted by Cape Verde on June 12, 2020.
President Maduro has worked tirelessly to ensure that the brave people of Venezuela have their basic needs satisfied, facing the imperialist hegemony of the US. Your readers should also understand that President Maduro has long desired to deepen ties with the peoples and states of Africa, and it was this vision that resulted in my appointment as Permanent Representative to the African Union on December 24th, 2020.
EE: Why do you think Cape Verde has not recognized your diplomatic status?
A.S: This is a question that you should ask to Prime Minister Ulisses Correia. The reality is that at the time I was kidnapped I told Natalino Correia, the officer in charge, that I was a diplomat and that I had documents to prove it. He ignored my comments, presumably because his orders were, as we now know, to kidnap me anyway.
Hundreds of years of customary international law ruling the movements of diplomats and political agents have been put at risk by the lies of Prime Minister Ulisses Correia and the people closest to him. My immunity and inviolability should have never been the subject of debate and if, as Cape Verde claims, they could be counted among the civilized nations, then they had clearly the duty to allow me to continue on my Special Mission.
It is the lies of Natalino Correia, the prosecutor Landim and the Minister of the Interior that have embarrassed the good name of Cape Verde without Prime Minister Ulisses Correia reacting. The Supreme Court of Justice turned the tables on the government and told Prime Minister Ulisses Correia that it is up to him to recognize my immunity and put an end to my kidnapping.
EE: What business did you conduct on behalf of Venezuela in Iran, Russia and other Middle Eastern countries?
A.S.: As I explained earlier, for many years I have provided basic food and medicine and other items to meet the needs of social welfare programs started under President Chavez, and continued and expanded under President Maduro’s Administration. Since April 2018, I have continued, but as a State public servant as a Special Envoy and not as a private businessman.
EE: Is there any fear by part of the Venezuelan government that you will be extradited?
A.S: No, not at all. I am deeply indebted to President Maduro and before him to President Chávez, as well as to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for all the opportunities that have been presented to me. My loyalty to President Maduro and the people of Venezuela is unquestionable, and they understand that, and I have done nothing wrong.
Due to some publications of the site Armando.Info, you tried, through lawsuits, to have the information withdrawn, but later your links with companies involved in corruption scandals in Venezuela in food, oil, construction and gold were demonstrated. What was your role in those contracts, and why did you try to intimidate journalists in court with your former lawyer, Abelardo De La Espriella?
Fake news and outright lies is the only way to describe these fake news sites controlled by the straw men. They are only dedicated to saying what company I own, or anyone related to me, but they have never presented any evidence of anything illegal or harmful to the State.
The owners of the pseudo-news portal have been invited to come to Venezuela and present their “evidence” to investigative enforcement, but of course, these prostitutes prefer to hide behind their computer screens and play the victims.
We have also asked them to fully disclose where and from whom their funding comes. Of course, they avoid answering those questions, but they find it perfectly acceptable to question my motives and those of the legitimate government of Venezuela when it tries to ensure the well-being of its people.
I am sure you know that I was investigated by Venezuela’s National Assembly (under right-wing mandate) and that nothing illegal was found in my services to the Bolivarian Republic. The lies and inventions of these pseudo news portals for rent, especially the one you mention, will one day be brought to justice in Venezuela, and they will answer for the damage caused to my good name and to the country in general.
EE: In Colombia, the Prosecutor’s Office also called you to trial for irregularities in imports and exports linked to the enterprise Shatex. Before being accused, you did not set foot in Colombia again, moving only in private planes. What happened 10 years ago with the Shatex business?
A.S: First, I hadn’t lived in Colombia for years and I hadn’t visited the country for nine months when that happened. It was an attempt to put pressure on my parents and my brothers, who are no longer part of any process. My lawyers have clarified it for the authorities that they are willing to answer any accusation they want to make. I don’t have anything to hide.
EE: Is it true that you, together with Piedad Córdoba, officiated before the Venezuelan authorities so that they would pay Colombian businessmen invoices withheld in the neighboring country and that this was your gateway to the Venezuelan government?
AS: More lies. How much hate is there in these people? What a miserable life they must lead if they wake up every morning thinking of new garbage and hatred to throw at a government that faces sanctions and an economic blockade that, in the words of the United Nations, are unprecedented, and illegal on a scale never seen in the history of the world.
The opposition has not governed for more than 20 years and does not understand the damage that politically motivated judicial overreach by the US is causing. Also, to what extent, as my lawyer Baltasar Garzón has stated, is the US carrying out “lawfare” (the use of judicial processes to cause economic damage) against Venezuela. The baseless accusations and the politically motivated sanctions issued against me are one example of it.
The US is deliberately interfering in the internal affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which not only goes against all norms of civilized behavior, but also the United Nations Charter. Last time I looked, the US still called itself a civilized country and is still a full member of the United Nations.
EE: How did you become the main food importer of the Committees for Local Supply and Production (CLAP), which according to journalistic investigations ended up in your hands through third parties?
A.S.: Through a lot of work, taking a significant risk and understanding that it could only be successful if the welfare program was successful. As I have explained before, I worked very hard to accomplish my contractual obligations on time and within budget. Clarify it for your readers that the welfare food program has at least 50 vendors.
EE: In mid-2019, the US included you on the Clinton List and published an indictment against you for allegedly laundering 350 million dollars. What implications has this brought to you?
A.S.: First, I must stress that all the accusations made against me are baseless and based on worthless information provided by discredited witnesses, who received US citizenship in exchange for their help to the Department of Justice.
I am pleased to draw your attention to the announcement made by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Geneva, Switzerland last week, when it stated that, after conducting a three-year investigation, it had found no evidence to support the money laundering allegations against me.
This is essential, since the funds under investigation come from the social housing contract that was given to me in 2011 and that Venezuela certified that I fully complied with. The social housing contract resulted in $350 million worth of vendor payments, the same $350 million that is at the core of the politically motivated prosecution against me in Miami. All the works carried out by my companies were completed, certified by Venezuela and received with satisfaction.
The question that needs to be asked now is: if a respected independent prosecutor in Switzerland has found nothing to substantiate the money laundering charges after an investigation spanning more than three years, then when will the US Attorney admit that they were wrong and put an end to his politically motivated persecution against me and many other law-abiding Venezuelans?
Since you have asked about the indictment, let me tell you how little confidence the US has in these charges. From the original eight charges, the US has already informed Cape Verde that it will drop seven of them and that they will only charge me with one count of conspiracy if I am extradited. Let it be clear that this is not a gesture of good will or humanity by the part of the United States. This offer is totally self-interested.
The strength of my defense and the evidence the team has put together to refute the extradition request have clearly surprised the US. The first reason why the US has offered to drop seven of the eight charges is because we have been able to prove irrefutably that the underlying payments, which add up to a ridiculous $400,000 divided into seven charges, meaning a $10,000 charge, a $23,000 charge and so on up to $400,000, these are all credits card payments related primarily to my living expenses while I have lived in Europe between 2011 and 2015.
Since the card was in my name, don’t you think that if the payments had anything to do with bribing a custom agent, as the discredited witnesses allege, the last thing I would do would be to make such transactions through a credit card? At my name?
The second reason for the offer to reduce the charges is that the only charge the US has not offered to drop is conspiracy. As any first-year law student will tell you, a conspiracy charge is the easiest criminal charge to obtain a guilty verdict in the US criminal code. Even though I haven’t been to the US in almost 30 years, the US is desperate to try to prove some kind of link, as tenuous it could be, with me. Hence, the use of discredited witnesses who have told the US what they wanted to hear and, as I said before, have been rewarded with US citizenship, visas and probably even money in return.
My final comment regarding the Miami indictment is this: The US claims to have the best legal framework to support the best technology, to support the best enforcement oversight in the world. If this is the case, could the US explain why the various correspondent banks through which the $350 million passed had no objection to the payments? These were repeated payments of the same amount each time over many months, which the compliance departments of the main banks involved could not, and in fact did not, overlook.
They obviously asked questions and were satisfied with the legitimate nature of these payments and therefore processed them not once, but dozens of times. Why doesn’t the US go after its own bankers within its own financial system to get some answers, instead of continuing with an avenging campaign politically motivated against a sovereign state?
EE: You say that you are afraid to come to the US because of the torture they could apply to you, supposedly to reveal state secrets. Where does that fear come from?
A.S.: There is no doubt that I will be subjected to torture. If they did it here, it will surely be easier there. I will never voluntarily provide classified information about the government of President Maduro and the diplomatic and commercial relations of the Bolivarian Republic.
Therefore, I am right to fear for my safety and sanity. Furthermore, we all know that US prisons are unsafe and currently facing significant health problems caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. Given my current state of health, imprisonment would be a violation of my most basic human rights and most likely a death sentence.
As my defense continues landing some punches to the accusations against me in the Miami indictment, the US is increasingly desperate to “catch” me. That is why it is exerting incredible pressure on Cape Verde to hand me over, even though my detention has been declared illegal and arbitrary by the ECOWAS Court of Justice in a binding judgment of March 15th, 2021.
The same court has also declared that the extradition process that I face in Cape Verde, at the request of the US, is illegal and must cease and that I must be released immediately.
EE: Do you fear for yourself and your family?
A.S.: The US has already conspired with Cape Verde to kidnap me. The ECOWAS Court’s decision determining that I must be released immediately is a powerful vindication of my position. I fear that the US could organize my extradition I would certainly not be the first innocent person to receive such treatment from the US and of course their desperation knows no bounds given the arrogance and self-proclaimed role of The World’s Police, so They are very capable of anything.
EE: Your family lives in Canada, Europe and recently, it was learned that your wife left Caracas, along with her youngest daughter, to look for shelter in Russia. Why to that country and not to Colombia?
A.S: I have lived outside Colombia for at least the last 15 years. My work has required me to be outside of Venezuela for long periods in Europe and Asia. Being away from my wife and children and having to travel to Caracas every week was becoming difficult, so we moved to be closer to the regions I travel to a lot. In other words, we have been living in several countries long before my kidnapping in Cape Verde, but let no one doubt that Caracas and Venezuela will always be the city and country we call home.
EE: The US does not dismiss you as a figurehead for Nicolás Maduro, are you a figurehead of the Venezuelan regime?
A.S.: President Maduro does not need figureheads, so there are more brazen accusations of websites being financed by unknown hands. President Maduro is a person of integrity who is only interested in the welfare of the people of Venezuela.
President Maduro has shown incredible leadership in the face of unprecedented sanctions and dirty political tricks from the US. I am honored to be able to assist President Maduro in any way I can as he seeks to ensure the well-being of the people of Venezuela.
EE: Do you have any intention of negotiating with the US, or what is next in your defense?
A.S.: I have already addressed this point before, but let me repeat: NO, I have nothing to contribute with. As for the next steps in my defense, I feel it would be better not to say too much, considering the ears that are listening and investigating options for trying to intervene.
However, I am confident that the Constitutional Court of Cape Verde will recognize the mistakes that have been made by the lower courts and that the judgment of the ECOWAS Court is binding to Cape Verde.
Interview # 04 Date: April 3, 2021 Media: CNN
Title: I am not detained, I am kidnapped”: Alex Saab talks about his case
This interview was done as a questionnaire, which was answered from prison, in Alex’s own handwriting and on crumpled scraps of paper. Those tiny letters brought the truth about Venezuela and the torture that Saab is experiencing, in his kidnapping, to the CNN newsroom. In addition, CNN asked the Attorney General of Cape Verde, Luis José Landim, and shares his servile and ambiguous response.
Extracts from this work have been removed whose discursive spirit has already been addressed in some other interviews, contained here. However, the most dignified and combative phrases of this militant of just causes remains, who continues to cry out for justice and freedom from the darkest corners of an imperial prison.
This new effort of Alex Saab to break the media siege that has been maintained over him represents a superhuman effort that seeks to draw attention to the world that he has endeavored to build. The case of Alex Saab is one more example of the impossibility of the existence of global justice, while imperialism continues to control international legal mechanisms and while nations lose their sovereignty in favor of the interests of the capitalist powers.
Alex Saab, pleads not guilty and asks to be released immediately fearing being extradited to the United States for his life, this is how he was exclusively interviewed by Cable News Network, better known by its acronym as CNN, which managed to communicate with the illegally detained ambassador by the Cape Verdean authorities, through a handwritten letter.
He claims that he was tortured by the Cape Verde authorities and that even worse punishments wait for him if he is extradited to the United States. Alex Saab told CNN from his detention site that he has no doubts about what will happen to him if he is sent to the US.
Similarly, he expressed “If I am extradited to the United States, every independent expert is categorical: I will be exposed to forced interrogation techniques, torture, mistreatment, unfair trial, inhuman detention conditions and cruel punishments”, answering the questions sent through their lawyers.
Saab was arrested on June 12th, 2020 when he was flying from Venezuela to Iran for a humanitarian mission ordered by President Maduro to supply the Venezuelan people with food, gasoline, medicine and supplies to combat the effects of Covid-19. His plane stopped at the Cape Verdean Island of Sal to refuel, and the authorities arrested him without an arrest warrant.
Taking advantage of the situation, the US Department of Justice is pushing his extradition to US soil. For his part, Saab describes his arrest as a kidnapping and as an exceptionally serious diplomatic conflict. The appointed Special Envoy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Ambassador to the African Union, denies the accusations coming from the US.
“We all know that sanctioning is a political action,” writes Saab, accusing the United States of trying to interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela. “The fact that they have chosen to sanction me confirms that they are telling the world that they have no evidence to support any accusation.”
“That’s why they can’t label me as a criminal, but still, they look to destroy my reputation,” he concludes.
The US exerts pressure against Venezuela and carries out this accusation against Saab as one of many directed at businessmen and officials who are part of the Venezuelan Government, or are related to it, including President Maduro.
Consequently, he expresses, “the accusations of money laundering are unfounded, purely political and artificially constructed by the authorities to serve political interests”. “They are based on testimony provided by discredited witnesses who have been rewarded with US citizenship for their cooperation,” Saab said.
“The truth is that US law enforcement has been doing everything they can to try to find a connection between the US and me, a country I haven’t visited in 30 years,” he adds.
Saab also affirms and confirms his innocence by indicating that the authorities of other countries have attacked him in the past and that they could not find evidence to convict him either.
“Swiss authorities, well known for his meticulousness and thoroughness, spent three years investigating all cash flows to and from specific accounts associated with me,” he explains. “The investigation concluded after they were unable to find evidence to support the allegations of money laundering and corruption, the very allegations on which the US indictment is based.”
Saab beliefs undoubtedly that by targeting him, Washington’s ultimate target is President Maduro.
“They have asked me, Alex, why don’t you lie and expose President Maduro? Why don’t you give the Americans what they want? You would be home in a few days, let me be clear, I have nothing bad to say about President Maduro, I only feel gratitude towards him.”
Saab argued that he would not be of interest to the US if he had done business with another country, but he went with Venezuela; “If by that you mean that I am loyal, committed and dedicated to defending the interests of the Venezuelan people and, in that sense, I act in union with President Maduro, then yes, as well as with the ministers of his cabinet,” he explained, “But I am not anyone’s ‘financier’, nor is President Maduro, an honest man of humble origins, does not need a financier.”
Venezuela has been calling for Saab’s release since his arrest, his trip to Iran was part of a humanitarian mission as Special Envoy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Ambassador to the African Union with the goal of supplying the country in the midst of a World Pandemic with food, gasoline, medicines and supplies to combat Covid-19. They also maintain that Saab used a diplomatic passport which gives him diplomatic immunity, so they ask for his immediate release.
“My arrest and detention in Cape Verde are completely arbitrary, illegal and illegitimate, there is no doubt about that,” he says, criticizing the African country for giving in to US interests. “Cape Verde boasts of the independence of its judicial system and boasts of being a bastion of democratic values in Africa, but actions speak louder than words.”
Saab accuses the Cape Verdean government of trampling on the law, and while waiting for the country’s Constitutional Court to issue a final ruling on whether he should be extradited to the US, intellectuals from around the world have joined the international signature campaign supporting the freedom of Alex Saab. Where personalities such as: Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone, Ignacio Ramonet among others, asked the judges to “punish the excesses and arbitrary abuses of the Cape Verdean Government”.
“I have been physically and psychologically tortured, they have denied me the specialized medical care I need. I was kept in a cell with only one hour of light a day,” he says. Saab battled stomach cancer in 2013 and requires constant monitoring, according to his lawyers.
Kidnapped since June of last year, and managing to be under house arrest in January, even so they affirm that his conditions have not improved.
“I am watched 24 hours a day by armed guards,” he says, criticizing not only the type of surveillance he is subjected to, but also the lack of tolerance and flexibility of local authorities. “It was necessary for my parents to die of Covid for the Cape Verdean authorities to have a drop of compassion and allow my sister to come visit me so that we could mourn her death together.”
CNN asked the Cape Verde prosecutor’s office to issue their opinion on Saab’s accusations against him, but they refused. Earlier this month, when asked about the case, Cape Verde’s (CAPITAL LETTERS) Attorney General, Luis José Landim, told reporters that Cape Verdean authorities have always complied with the law and that they will not yield to “external pressures”.
Just weeks away from a ruling that could end the nightmare he currently lives in; Saab says he prays for his dignity and freedom to be restored.
“I think all the men and women in my shoes would have the same wishes, the same hopes,” he says. “Naturally, I am still waiting for justice to be done in this case.”
Letter # 05 Date: June 1, 2021 Title: President Maduro: Ruling for all Venezuelans
Addressed to: President Nicolás Maduro
President Maduro: Ruling for all Venezuelans
Since June 12th, 2020, when I was kidnapped by the Republic of Cape Verde by orders of the United States, I have been asked many times “Alex, why don’t you tell the world that you no longer support Maduro? Why don’t you say what the Americans want you to say against President Maduro? You’ll be home with your family in days if you do.”
Let me explain it one more time.
First, I have nothing to say against President Maduro, much less am I his figurehead and that is clear to the gringos and journalists who, although they seek to made up stories, have never been able to find anything about it. I was investigated by the National Assembly under opposition ruling, and without results either. Switzerland in 4 years of investigations, in more than 3,000 pages of files, could never find a single payment received or executed by me or my companies that indicated or assumed at least the minimum evidence of laundering or figurehead, they also closed the investigation on which the false accusation of the United States is based.
As a pseudo-journalist out there said in his own words, “Who needs lawyers when you have the Swiss prosecutor’s office?” Well, he’s even right, and I’m glad they investigated me.
But more important than all that media noise, I want to make my position clear once again.
Since taking office as president, Nicolás Maduro has worked tirelessly so that the people of Venezuela do not suffer hunger, have access to basic health care and for the moist needed access to housing, as well as many social missions, which the people is witness.
He has only shown love for his country and its people, and he has done so by staying true to his own humble origins.
The people of Venezuela fully understand that their President has achieved all of this despite the imposition of illegal sanctions, which the United Nations has stated that they are on a scale never seen before in the history of the world.
Yet, it seems that no matter what social welfare initiative President Maduro and his team undertake, or how successful those programs are, there will be members of the extremist right wing, corrupt and powerful opposition who will never accept the legitimacy of the effort.
It is easy to criticize, but it is more difficult to rule a country; it is easy to talk, but it is more difficult to take constructive action; it is easy to be a puppet of a foreign regime that claims hegemony, but it is more difficult to maintain principles and defend what is right.
Does the radical opposition know how fickle their new best friends are? They should seek advice on relations with Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan before going ahead obeying their orders and causing only harm to the people.
President Maduro has now selflessly proposed a roadmap to achieve national reconciliation in a fair, respectful and equitable manner. The self-serving policy of the extremist opposition and its gang is very evident with their deafening silence in response to a serious and sincere proposal for dialogue.
So back to the original question yes of course I love my family more than anything in the world of course I miss my wife and kids so much and of course I am devastated by the death of both of my parents with 9 days apart, in April, due to the Covid-19 virus.
Mine is a traditional family, so the inability to commemorate the funeral rites of not one, but both parents will haunt me for the rest of my life. However, despite a year of inhuman and degrading treatment, how could I look at my children if I abandoned the values and principles that my parents taught me and that I have instilled in them? I cannot and will not betray the trust and respect that President Maduro has shown the people of Venezuela, my family and me.
I will not become a figure to be despised, to be known in the streets of Caracas as a dirty traitor. Furthermore, I do not pretend in the least to be a martyr or a hero. I only want the best for the country that adopted me and of which I have been a citizen for more than a decade and serving as a regular public official since April 2018.
I have been kidnapped for almost a year, I have been physically and psychologically tortured, my prison cell only had light for one hour a day, which has caused partial loss of my sight, despite being a cancer survivor, something which I don’t like to talk about, I have been denied access to the specialized medical care I need.
So, if anyone has reasons to betray their principles and start screaming lies in unison, it is me, but let it be clear, no matter what journalists write, I will never betray President Nicolás Maduro, his team and the legacy of President Chavez.
I call on all true Venezuelan patriots to show their support for President Maduro and to build a human shield around his socialist legacy. United we will win, united we can defeat the hegemony, united we will defeat the puppets. Be true to your principles and stay loyal, my brothers and sisters. Loyal always!
We will overcome!
Letter # 06 Date: July 5, 2021 Title: Since my kidnapping in Cape Verde
Addressed to: President Nicolás Maduro and People of Venezuela
Dear President Nicolás Maduro and beloved people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Please accept my greetings on the occasion of the commemoration of our Independence.
The northern imperialists have done great effort to pit us against each other in their attempts to destroy the spirit of the Venezuelan people with sanctions and inhuman acts, with a failed and unrealistic dream of forcing a change in our leadership.
They have failed. They have failed and will continue to fail as long as they do not understand that what keep us together is our love for the country, for our independence and for our President.
His ability to overcome adversity, his resilience, inspires us all to fight harder and harder. So, every time they attack him, they strengthen us more.
We will never forget what the President and his entire administration have done for the people during the harsh years of illegal political and economic sanctions. We will never forget or forgive the harm that others have caused us by his economic ambition and hunger for power.
What we will always remember is our strength that comes from shared common values and the spirit of the revolution started by Simón Bolívar, continued by President Chávez and now moving forward under the leadership of President Nicolás Maduro towards a Venezuela unified, sovereign who always prioritizes social welfare.
I hope to be back with all of you in the very near future and that this kidnapping that I have been submitted for 389 days by order of the Empire comes to an end, as another attack of desperation and cowardice towards our country.
I have no doubt that the people of Venezuela will always remain strong, fighting against the imperialists for our absolute independence, without accepting foreign interference, always supporting our President and his Government.
We will overcome!
Letter # 07 Date: July 24th, 2021 Title: “Why don’t you come clean and save the little reputation you have left?”
Addressed to: Attorney General of Cape Verde José Landim
Open letter to: José Landim, Attorney General of the Republic of Cape Verde
From: His Excellency Alex Nain Saab Morán, Permanent Deputy Representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the African Union and Special Envoy to the Islamic Republic of Iran
July 24th, 2021
Attorney General of the Republic of Cape Verde
Praia, Santiago, Republic of Cape Verde
Dear Mr. Attorney General,
I have recently been informed that you are in a moment of “mea culpa” and want to admit that you have made a “trivial mistake” in the management of my extradition to the United States.
Although I am pleased that you are willing to admit these mistakes, perhaps, since you have been in that state of mind, you could also admit that, instead of being the guarantor of justice required by your role as Attorney General, you have yielded to the worst kind of political expediency instead of keeping the oath of your investiture.
Now you state that my numerous complaints, presented to the Cape Verdean authorities over the last year, about the inability to receive specialized medical care to which I am entitled as a basic human right, and the requests for investigation of several acts of violence like physical and psychological torture. You have used this trivial statement to sidetrack and ignore the ruling of the UN Human Rights Committee’s about the temporary measures.
Now you have left for the record that a local doctor, the Cape Verde Human Rights Commission and a surprise inspection were used as tools to challenge my claims.
I wish to state in the clearest possible terms that I reject and refute your attempts to justify your compliance and complicity in my arrest, detention, denial of health care and torture. I beg you to have these parties testify under oath about the assistance and the alleged investigations they have carried out, the evidence they have collected, including, presumably, the simplest medical evaluations and photographs.
In return, I demand the right to have evidence collected from other inmates who were in Sal Prison at the time of the violation of my most basic rights and the atrocities committed against numerous national and international laws as well as treaties that you say defend.
Why don’t you come clean and save the little reputation you have left?
Alex Nain Saab Moran
Letter # 08 Date: July 26, 2021 Title: To the brother People of Cape Verde
Addressed to: People of Cape Verde
Brothers and sisters of Cape Verde, I am truly grateful for your expressions of support during the last year and especially this last week. It is clear that there is a lot about what has happened over the last year that many of you don’t know and if it’s up to the Attorney General, you would never find out. So, let me tell you a bit more about myself and how me, a legally appointed diplomat, have been kidnapped under the direction of the United States.
All my life I have been a simple businessman. My parents came to Colombia in the 60s from Lebanon. They were ordinary people, but with a lot of work and effort they built a successful textile business. My parents instilled in me and my siblings the traditional values of respect, fairness, hard work, ethic, and faith in God. At the age of 18 I founded my own company. Before accepting a public office postulation in April 2018, my companies in different sectors have created tens of thousands of jobs not only in Venezuela but also in other countries.
On June 12th, I took off from Caracas, Venezuela, on a humanitarian mission as Special Envoy of Venezuela, appointed since April 2018.
I had the honor to be appointed as Special Envoy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in April 2018. The role was to help Venezuela overcome the vicious and immoral economic blockade unilaterally imposed by the United States. President Maduro entrusted me with this unique task because I have demonstrated over many years that I could be trusted to deliver government contracts on time and on budget. A big part of my task was to establish new business and financial relationships to replace those that had been lost by the threat of US sanctions and its outright harassment.
The United States considered this as a “sanctions evasion”, but the reality was that it was a question of security and national interest for the government of President Maduro and, therefore, he had a thousand percent right to do whatever is necessary to guarantee the welfare of the people of Venezuela.
We are not responsible in face to the United States, no one has designated the United States to be the world’s policeman and, of course, they have no right to interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela. To ensure that I could fulfill what was asked me to do, as a Special Envoy, I would be entitled to immunity and inviolability that would allow me to move freely around the world, just as diplomats and political agents have done for centuries. Subsequently, I was appointed Ambassador to the African Union.
They must understand that the role of the special envoys is not exclusive to Venezuela. It should come as no surprise to any of you due that the country that has appointed more Special Envoys worldwide is the United States.
That day, June 12th, when I was on a special humanitarian mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the plane where I was traveling on was duly authorized by Cape Verde to land and refuel, during these technical stops, normally no one gets off the plane However, an inspector sergeant named Natalino Correia almost kicked me off the plane, telling me that there was an arrest warrant against me.
An order that he never showed me and even when I identified myself as a Special Envoy with diplomatic immunity, he ignored it and locked me in a dungeon.
A few hours after my kidnapping, the governments of Venezuela and the Islamic Republic of Iran, once informed, confirmed to the government of Cape Verde through diplomatic channels my status as Special Envoy. The Attorney General of Cape Verde has waited a year to “discover a mistake”, but here is clear evidence that not in a year, nor in months, nor in weeks, nor in days, but in a few hours Cape Verde was formally and officially notified of a big mistake and however deliberately decided to do nothing.
This shows, above all, that when his government officials say that the matter of my extradition is in the hands of the courts, they are not being sincere. Prime Minister Ulisses Correia has made my arrest, detention and extradition a political issue from the moment I was taken off the plane.
Once Cape Verde and the United States learned that I was a legally appointed special agent, and that they would have a major legal battle on their hands. They realized that their best hope was to beat me and avoid the legal consequences of detaining a diplomat with immunity and inviolability.
Natalino Correia ignored the diplomatic documents I had with me and, after throwing me into a closed, windowless cell, he participated or stood by while I was tortured that first night of June 13th, to force me to sign a “voluntary acceptance of an extradition order”. They threatened me with death if I made these facts public.
Afterwards they kept me without food for 48 hours, tortured me, and brought me before a judge in Sal Island at approximately 14:00h p.m. on Sunday. This judge also ignored the only thing I could say, that I was a Special Envoy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with diplomatic immunity and that she had the documents to prove it.
But she was only thinking that it was urgent for her to go to lunch and in no more than 20 minutes, if my memory serves me correctly, of which I hardly understood anything she said because I don’t speak Portuguese, and she doesn’t speak Spanish. She stood there with a lot of joy and malice on her face as if nothing I could say, show or do would change a decision that she was already instructed to execute, in my opinion. I had no hearing, I was not allowed to show documents, nothing. Everything was already decided. In the prison of Sal, I was isolated and transferred as a dangerous criminal to the island of Barlovento.
During all this time, the government of Venezuela, as well as other countries, continued to remind Cape Verde of my status as Special Envoy. There was never a response from Cape Verde.
It is clear that there was participation of high officials to carry out this kidnapping. I hope that the justice of your country someday judges those responsible because I assure you that they will be judged, if not in Cape Verde, certainly in international courts.
Recently, José Landim, the Attorney General, has publicly admitted that there was no arrest warrant to support the alleged Interpol Red Notice. The document has been made public and can be seen clearly. This means that the red notice was not valid as a basis for arresting me under Cape Verdean laws. Furthermore, no arrest warrant was, ever, issued by any local judge of Cape Verde. In fact, as we also know from the ECOWAS Court of Justice, there was no red notice at the time Natalino Correia boarded my plane by force.
He didn’t “show me a red notice” as he claims. What he did show me was a picture on his cell phone, exclaiming it was a red notice warning. I have no idea what that image was, as he just waved his phone at me for a couple of seconds. What kind of police officer shows up without an arrest warrant and without a copy of the Red Notice supposedly issued to make an arrest? Only one who is committed to do a kidnapping for political reasons.
José Landim now says that he is correcting a “trivial mistake”, but his “trivial mistake” has kept me illegally detained for more than 400 days. His “trivial mistake” has caused me physical and psychological torture, kept isolated, denied from food, denied from specialized health care, denied from proper access to my lawyers, and denied from contact with my family. This is not a “trivial mistake” but a systematic politically motivated campaign to break me mentally and physically.
My defense team has been pointing out this and other errors for more than a year, and it is only now that José Landim pays attention because he knows that the Constitutional Court will not put up with his games and half-truths.
If José Landim is so interested in correcting serious errors, can he perhaps explain why, when Cape Verde was informed within hours of my abduction that I was a legally appointed Special Envoy, I was not released once “the error” was known?
Can José Landim explain why, if the Red Notice was the basis for my detention, as he has proclaimed just a few days ago, I was not released immediately? The Red Notice was canceled on June 25th, 2020 after Venezuela successfully challenged his publication?
We all know why: it was to allow his American friends to rush an extradition request to Cape Verde. Unfortunately for José Landim and his American friends, they were so interested in sending the extradition request that they sent the document with an arrest warrant under SOMEONE ELSE’S name and not mine. Anyone in charge of upholding the law and justice, like José Landim, should have accepted at that time that it was a serious procedural error and released me. My team immediately flagged it, but because of the political nature of my pursuit and not because it was based on any legal issue, they ignored the error and continued their obsessive illegal pursuit against me.
José Landim has deliberately ignored these unforgivable questions of a political nature. The problem that he and the government of Ulisses Correia faces is that the ECOWAS Court of Justice recognized these serious faults of Cape Verde against international laws and, in binding decisions of March 15th and June 24th, declared illegal my arrest and the forced extradition process, therefore, ordered my immediate release and the end of the extradition process. The ECOWAS Court also ordered Cape Verde to pay me a $200,000 penalty fee in damages, and I have clarified it for my lawyers and the Cape Verdean authorities that I want this money to go to children’s charities in Cape Verde. Unfortunately, the Cape Verde authorities have refused to pay this money.
The ECOWAS group of experts was led by Judge Januaria Costa, a highly respected Cape Verdean magistrate and former Minister of Justice. She obviously ignored the political considerations and made sure that the ECOWAS Court could see the very blatant violations of Cape Verde law and ruled that I should be released.
On January 25th, 2021, I was finally transferred from Sal prison to “house arrest”. Currently, the house arrest practiced by Sal Police is unlike any other house arrest in the world. I am locked up 24 hours a day, there are 50 armed policemen, and they have the keys to the house, so they enter randomly at any time of the day to deliberately disturb my sleep, I am not allowed to close the door of my room, I am not allowed to receive visits from my choice, my lawyers are searched before entering and leaving the house and their papers are reviewed.
I am surrounded by the police and the army in four houses on the sides and in front of the one I am detained. Even though the maximum time I can be on house arrest has expired, I am still locked up with no sign of being released. My habeas corpus applications to the authorities to be released have been rejected because they say that I am already free. As you said, house arrest in Cape Verde is unlike anywhere else in the world. I would appreciate the good citizens and neighbors of mine in Sal Island to send some pictures to the Supreme Court to help understand that I am not free.
Anyway, as you know, more than 400 days after my kidnapping by Natalino Correia and José Landim, my case is before the honorable Constitutional Court. The Court is respected throughout Cape Verde, and it is to be hoped that the honorable judges have had the opportunity to understand, especially in light of the confession of Attorney General José Landim, that the 12 points of constitutionality that my lawyers have presented (whose details will be shared with you in the coming days), are all meritorious and consistent with the position that not only I should have never been arrested or detained, and therefore, as Judge Costa has pointed out, I should be released immediately.
José Landim wants you to believe that my case is complex, but the reality is the opposite. I am a diplomat legally appointed by Venezuela and, like any other sovereign state, it is the right of Venezuela to choose who represents it. Just like Cape Verde, pick the Portuguese citizen César De Paçao as its honorary consul in Florida, even though he is well-known for having ties with racist groups and extreme right-wing partisans. What he has tried to do is what the United States has ordered him to do, especially once everyone found out that I am a legally appointed diplomat, was precisely to make my case sound as complicated as possible and thus the way to bury the truth, to accept unconstitutional offers of reciprocity and reduction of charges through diplomatic notes and not from a court and so on.
José Landim has tied himself with such knots that, on one hand, he claims that the decisions of the ECOWAS Court are not binding on Cape Verde, but, on the other hand, he has fully participated in the ECOWAS Process, he even tried to have the decision of March 15th against Cape Verde canceled and then, on June 22nd, he told the Constitutional Court that my position is not clear since “we are still waiting for a decision from the ECOWAS Court of Justice” I suppose that when so many lies have been told it might be hard to remember which ones have been told to whom and where.
I repeat that the truth is that José Landim and Ulisses Correia knew, from the moment Natalino Correia boarded my plane, that I was a legally designated Special Envoy and therefore with the right to immunity and inviolability. Cape Verde is entitled to object to my presence on its territory, declare me “persona non grata” and ask me to continue my humanitarian mission. I had no intention of entering the territory of Cape Verde, and it was the Cape Verdean police who forced me to buy an entry visa before taking me into isolation.
People of Cape Verde, you are innocent of my kidnapping, which has been carried out by compliant and unwilling officials who have submitted to the political pressure of a country that intends to follow its agenda. As I have said, any decent and moral person who finally admits his grave mistakes (which my lawyers have exposed for 400 days) should immediately order my release. But it is clear that José Landim is not such a person and, what is worse, he answers to something that is not the Constitution of Cape Verde. And what is worse, Prime Minister Ulisses Correia remains silent as the sphinx, looking into the distance and pretending that he is not aware of the legal chaos that he has allowed to develop around him.
Letter # 09 Date: August 11th, 2021 Title: Request to the Constitutional Court
Addressed to: Magistrates of the Constitutional Court
Honorable Magistrates of the Constitutional Court:
By next Friday, I will have been detained for 428 days. The physical location of my detention can be moved and instead of a 2×2 meter cell I now apparently have access to a “whole house”, but on the other hand I only switched from solitary confinement because I have the company of 50 heavily armed guards, they watch every move I make 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During the last 400 days, my physical and psychological condition has deteriorated, just to mention two of the sufferings that have increased. I take comfort in knowing that I am innocent of all the crimes that they allege I committed and that they told me that the more I gave in, the better because later I would have less opportunity in a Cape Verde court to defend myself. Unfortunately, to my bitter disappointment, until now, TRB and the STJ have been denying me basic justice. Now my destiny is in your hands, you are the Guardians of the Constitution.
A wise man once told me, “No one can tell your story better than you.” And given the legal complexity and political motivation of my arrest and prosecution by the United States, it will never be the same in terms of importance to hear directly from myself, in my own words, the injustice I have suffered since June 12th, 2020.
I am a patriot doing what my President wants me to do, at a time of the greatest need for my country. I do not deny it. Distinguished judges, I do not wish to take too much of the Court’s time, but for the natural law of justice, I respectfully request that, having heretofore been denied the ability to speak even a word in court, please allow me to save my own life and to let my wife and children know that I did everything I could humanly to avoid the fate of dying in a US prison.
Sincerely, Alex Saab
Letter # 10
Date: August 12, 2021 Title: No Back Down, No Surrender!
Addressed to: People of Venezuela
Venezuelan fellow citizens;
Today, 1 day before the hearing before the Constitutional Court, where I was not allowed to attend either, 427 days have passed since I was kidnapped in the Republic of Cape Verde under direct instructions from the United States.
At that time, I was working as a Special Envoy at the service of the Venezuelan Government since April 2018, always on special peaceful humanitarian missions, under the instructions of President Nicolás Maduro to attend the basic needs of the country, such as food and medicine, among others.
Emphasizing, I was traveling as a Special Envoy, a position that I had the honor to accept in 2018, precisely to guarantee that I could travel freely and without obstacles from those who are dedicated to accomplish the illegal unilateral sanctions against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
As a nation, we have been blessed with a President who only wants the best for the people of his country. The leadership of President Nicolás Maduro and his main collaborators has achieved that, despite the efforts of the United States to impose its political will on us and to impose its extraterritorial laws, Venezuela during many years has been able to count with the trust and friendship from the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Cuba and the Republic of Turkey, among many other allies, to ensure that we have not only survived the illegal sanctions, but that we are seeing the beginning of an economic recovery.
What happened to me today can happen to anyone else tomorrow. The Russian Federation today issued a clear and forceful reminder to the United States and Cape Verde that international law exists to protect us.
There are centuries-old rules governing the movements of diplomats and political agents, and they are there to protect all diplomats and political agents, not just those who bend the knee to a foreign flag.
As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation said today, “extraditing a diplomat from a third country has a negative impact on international relations and can have a “boomerang effect” for any country, including the United States themselves, as well as for other States involved in dangerous games with international law.
Our country is beginning to see the fruits of the economic policies of President Nicolás Maduro and his team, and it is important to remember this as we prepare for the November 21st, coming elections. Our strength is our unity. And unity will show the world the transparency of our Government. That is why we must win these elections.
As much as some United States officials have tried, either with words or with weapons, using “paid pseudo-patriots”, who jump and dance like monkeys with chains in a village market and then seek refuge in Spain, Colombia and, of course, in the United States, they have never been able to and will never be able to break us.
Most of them have sold their dignity in exchange for US passports and money.
They are only interested in telling the world infamies against Venezuela and never about all the harm they have caused us.
We have not invaded other countries; we have not tried to impose our philosophy on others. Our leaders have shown every time that we believe in peaceful coexistence and respect for the sovereignty of other nations, as is required by the Chart of the United Nations. But, are we recognized in the media? No, because peace doesn’t sell newspapers, peace doesn’t sell advertising space, and peace doesn’t give to the subjective talk show hosts anything to talk about.
We have survived because of our unity and because we know that surrender is not an option.
We are not like some nations that have no resources and therefore are pushed to bend the knee and stretch out their hands like beggars. We are a nation blessed with all type of natural resources in abundance.
Unfortunately, the “prepaid patriots” sang and danced at the orders of others and not of their country and continue to denounce any initiative taken to improve the lives of the people of Venezuela as if it were something irregular.
Let me finish by saying that I am a man of one word, who does not change his values and principles due to the circumstances in which he is today or tomorrow.
No matter how loud the pseudo-journalists cry out, nor the pressure from other States, I will never turn my back on the people of Venezuela or our President Nicolás Maduro.
Loyal always, we will overcome!
Letter # 11 Date: September 9, 2021 Title: I will not capitulate!
Addressed to: To the people of Venezuela and the world
I was kidnapped 455 days ago while carrying out a Special Humanitarian Mission in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
Shortly after beginning my forced journey through the Cape Verde legal system, I was told that the Constitutional Court of Cape Verde is made up of judges who are fair and understand how to protect the good name of the country. I was told that the Court was the “guardian of the Constitution”.
On September 7th, the so-called Guardians of the Constitution of Cape Verde issued a decision on my appeal against extradition to the United States. I’m not sure where to start describing this decision, however, let me try.
It is poorly written, poorly argued, and legally incoherent and deplorable. To use the law for political ends, or to apply a lawfare, to be successful requires that the judges who carry it out have some inherent talent which, unfortunately, seems to be lacking in the many Cape Verdean judges who have sat before me in court. The last 15th months. Quite simply, the result is legally regrettable.
To all the sensationalism garbage that has been written, or tweeted, about my disappearance and “extradition” as if it were a certainty, I will say the following:
Many of you, the same sellers of half-truths and lies, happily said that I would be in Miami within days of my kidnapping. 455 days later, I remain kidnapped in Cape Verde, confident that I will prevail in my battle against the United States judicial outrage. No matter the fake evidence, nor the political pressure, or the scope of the conspiracy of Cape Verde and its new masters, I will not capitulate!
I have nothing but words of gratitude for having the support of President Nicolás Maduro, his cabinet and the Venezuelan people in these last 15 months. In addition, I have the unwavering support of my wife Camilla and my 5 children. My legal team has put together an extraordinary defense that has surprised many critics, and I have all the confidence in the team’s ability to ensure my safe return to Venezuela. I will leave no legal stone unturned and no forum unexplored to get my freedom.
To my friends, my family and the people of Venezuela I have this to say: I am a patriot and a grateful son of Venezuela, I will never betray it; neither President Maduro, nor the brave people of Venezuela. With the strength of knowing myself an innocent man from all the false accusations of the United States, I hope to be back in Venezuela; in time to support President Nicolás Maduro and the Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in the upcoming elections to be held in November.
We will overcome!
Letter # 12 Date: September 27, 2021 Title: Thank you letter
Addressed to: Delegates of the Government of Venezuela at the Dialogue Table
Dear Jorge, members of the dialogue table, government officials and opponents, I send you a big greeting and I hope you are all well.
To my government and our delegation, you do not know how moved I was when I learned about the gesture towards me that you showed upon your arrival in Mexico. I couldn’t see any photos, but I felt full of strength and pride for Venezuela when they told me about it. I am and will always be eternally grateful to the entire delegation and our government for the honor they gave me.
That is the country that I love. The homeland that defends the just causes. The homeland that seeks the welfare of the people every day. The homeland that is going through an immoral and cruel blockade, but remains brave. The country that does not give up.
I was kidnapped by Trump, his gang and his failed policy 473 days ago. They have physically tortured me in Cape Verde until they got tired. They continue to torture me and psychologically provoke me every day until today. Not only that, but they have denied me medical attention among so many other basic human right things. Sometimes they even leave me without water for days because, according to them, the transparent bottles must be X-rayed and the machine always breaks down.
I have been threatened with death in a US prison almost every day since I was vilely kidnapped. They threatened the life of my family. I have been slandered, insulted, mistreated and, according to them, humiliated. But the soul of a warrior is not to be humiliated. Only the one who kneels sees his enemy as a giant.
They sanctioned me in 2019, not only me but my two oldest children, who were almost minors when they were about to graduate from university and had nothing to do with this political conflict. My children had to interrupt their studies and go into exile when they were almost children. Their accusations against me are so ridiculous and politically motivated that they have not been able to find a single piece of evidence against me.
Even Switzerland destroyed the case, considered a judicial overreach after investigating me for three years and not finding a single operation suspicious of being illegal in 3,000 pages of files. The same has happened in other countries that have investigated, incited by the same long liners that Elliott Abrams himself publicly confessed he uses.
But North America, in its impotence, constantly threatens me even with seeking something to accuse even my children for no reason if I don’t give in to their claims to stop serving my country and falsely denigrate my government.
America was furious among so many things that food and medicine continued to arrive despite the blockade because it made them fail, according to them, in their plan that which they respectfully call regime change. They literally wanted the people to rise from hunger. They even brazenly asked me, to stop helping my country for 120 days without food or medicine in exchange for amnesty. For them, 120 days of hunger would be enough. Did they pretend that I turned into a genocide? I never gave up and always communicated it to my superiors.
I lived the death of my father and my mother in this kidnapping, alone, without saying goodbye, it was not the fault of Covid but of this tyranny. They separated me from my family, from my wife, from my five children, the youngest being five months old. I still feel the last kiss I gave my baby. My family has been kidnapped these same 473 days as me because the family experiences kidnapping even worse than the kidnapped person.
And what have they achieved in these 463 days? Nothing. Every time I have been able, the only thing I say is to send a message of strength to the brave people of Chávez to surround our president. Nicolás Maduro with a sacred mantle of protection and support. The people of Chávez should be united more than ever. All my human rights have been violated, and I return peace, hope and honor.
What does the empire think it can accomplish by taking me to America? Do you naively think they can still break me? I am already dead, American people, if I have to die for my principles and my honor. Your policy of intimidation, repression, judicial overreach has failed and will always fail with Venezuela, as your own Senator Chris Murphy explained clearly.
Mr. President Biden, if you really believe in the dialogue that is taking place in Mexico, what do you mean by pressuring Cape Verde to extradite me? Nothing will change. You really believe that I am going to get there to tell, according to you, “secrets” to overthrow my government. If that’s what you think, let me tell you to wake up because that won’t happen, and secondly you are showing that what you want to end is the dialogue and continue looking for fantastic solutions, it’s on you. I am a political prisoner, as simple as that.
My diplomatic immunity has been recognized not only by my country but also by China, Russia, Iran, among other countries, and their judges cannot be threatened with taking away your famous visa.
I haven’t been to the United States for 28 years. President Biden declared that the era of America’s new foreign policy had begun. I hope you honor your words and no longer interfere in our countries to impose your will or steal our resources.
I wish you much success at the dialogue table. Furthermore, I would love to participate and explain in great detail all the damage that the sanctions have caused to our country and how they distort our economy.
God enlightens you all in all your efforts to bring reconciliation in our beloved country.
A big hug.
Letter # 13 Date: October 12, 2021 Title: Unity!
Addressed to: To the People of Venezuela
Dear brothers and sisters of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela:
Today, when I had the chance to pass on this letter, just as the ships that carry and bring the needs of the people in the midst of this inhumane blockade, I wanted to send you these lines to talk to you a little about what it means to have character.
We are living through difficult times, caused by the insatiable desire of a part of the extremist and racist opposition that dedicated itself to lying about our country and our actions abroad due to its desire for power.
As they saw it was impossible to win us over with votes, they wanted to win us over by starving us, but they couldn’t, nor will they ever be able to.
They prefer not to allow the wealth of the country to be dedicated to social welfare but to his pockets instead, as they were for decades and decades before jumping to power our supreme leader Hugo Chávez Frías.
This is a historic moment for Venezuela. We are experiencing an inhumane blockade that only seeks to return power to the oligarchy that does not allow the most needy class to prosper.
Talents are best nurtured in solitude, but character is best formed in stormy weather of the world. And the character of the Venezuelan people has been strengthened in this storm that represents the blockade.
We can’t let our guard down. We have learned in the last 6 years to survive the most brutal and cruel blockade that our country has experienced. We have been able to survive it because of the resilience, intelligence, character and nerves of steel of our President Nicolás Maduro Moros who was chosen in his clear wisdom by our forever beloved commander Hugo Chávez Frías to lead us.
As the great visionary that he was, he knew the great challenge that was upon us and who as our leader could withstand it. And he was not wrong. Everything happens for a reason.
The difficult times you go through, will build your character, making you a much stronger person and, undoubtedly, the people of Venezuela are much stronger today.
This is not the time to give up space.
This is not the time to give up because of the difficulty of the situation.
The best moments for the people will come after the storm. If we give up spaces, we will only have more poverty in the future.
We cannot afford not to win the November 21 elections. We have to show the world that in adversity the people remain more united than ever and that they will not defeat us.
Neighboring countries have finally exploded after decades of oppression because the people are tired of misery. The oligarchy cares only about its own well-being. Building millions of free homes for the people is not seen as a way to help the most needy to get ahead, but as populism. We see it as giving the people an opportunity to have a safe place to raise a family that will be the base of the new generations.
All the social missions that President Chávez created, in adversity, being almost an impossible mission, our President Nicolás Maduro has maintained, all this is not a priority for them. They do not see the people as a priority. The first socialist was our beloved Lord Jesus Christ, who multiplied the bread and wine to feed the poorest. As Martin Luther King said, “A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men buys its own spiritual death in installments.”
Either we vote as a team or we will die as individuals.
The worst thing the bad guys do is force us to doubt of the good guys. That is why they have dedicated themselves to discrediting our country, our government and those of us who work for it abroad because they know that inside, with the people, they will never be able to defeat us.
That’s why the blockade, that’s why the sanctions, that’s why the kidnappings like mine that have been going on for almost 500 days. Because they want to break us because if they could return to the time of slavery they would do it with great pleasure. Make no mistake, we have a blessed country, full of richness that they would like to steal from us. This richness belongs to the people of Venezuela and with blockade or without blockade we are going to get ahead, as well as PDVSA in a situation that in any other country in the world would have already gone bankrupt or closed before this criminal blockade, instead with the ingenuity and character of our leaders and our workers we are moving forward, and this year will already be the first year with positive balances for Venezuela in economic matters despite the blockade.
Achieving this in the midst of a blockade can only be achieved by the great people, the peoples who have suffered in the past and who have strengthened from the character of their leaders to continue fighting. Character is the deaf and constant force of will, and will is what the people of Venezuela have left over.
This November 21 let’s give a lesson of unity around our president Nicolás Maduro Moros and our strong PSUV. Let the world realize the determination and character of a people that does not give up, and let us make them yield to this inhuman blockade with votes.
Let it be clear that the only way is reconciliation and living in harmony because the people will never be enslaved again.
I will continue to fight this political kidnapping in any instance in which I find myself, without giving in. People with character do the correct thing even when no one else does, not because they think they will change the world, but because they refuse to be changed by the world.
Strength Venezuela, always loyal, we will overcome!
Letter # 14 Date: October 14, 2021 Title: Letter to the Cape Verdeans
Addressed to: To the People of Cape Verde
I would like to send my personal thanks to all the Cape Verdeans who have expressed their support for my wife and daughters, who have been waiting for a visa for more than 2 weeks to enter Cape Verde. The Barlovento Court ruled that my family is authorized to be with me while I remain in this restrictive house arrest regime, so there can be no excuse for the delay in issuing the supposed visa.
On the other hand, the same court, on August 31, ordered that I be transferred from the island of Sal to the city of Praia, since I needed urgent and specialized medical attention.
It turns out that seven weeks later, almost two months later, I am still stuck in Sal, while my health gradually and hopeless deteriorates.
In short, we are dealing with two clear and objective judicial decisions that are opposed by the political and police authorities of Cape Verde, with two incomprehensible and absolutely illegal denials, in flagrant violation of court orders, in respect to its compliance.
Concerning the visa for my family, the Cape Verdean government claims that their presence in the country «puts under improper pressure the legal system», while the police speak of «security concerns».
As much as I try, I cannot see which real threats my wife and daughters, aged 4 years and 18 months, may pose to the Cape Verdean justice system. It is unthinkable that the authorities conceive a threat of any kind on their part, but it is possible that they may project, with the visit of my loved ones, a threat to their conscience and peace of mind, considering all the injustices that have been committed against me and my dignity.
But whatever the reasons why the Government of Cape Verde is rejecting the visa, the most correct thing to do in terms of good democracy, which they claim to be an African example, would be that their rulers share those same reasons with you, the citizens of this great nation, a small country but enormous in its dignity as a people.
Regarding the security concerns that the police have pointed out as the main obstacle to my transfer to the city of Praia, I want to assure you that my defense team provided the police with several housing options, all of which were considered appropriate to maintain the prison restrictive regime to which I am subject. Therefore, there is no plausible reason for them to let my health deteriorate, indefinitely postponing my transfer to the city of Praia on the pretext of security issues, which do not exist.
Unfortunately, the government of Ulisses Correia has a proven track record of ignoring binding judicial decisions and relevant United Nations recommendations. I remind you that on March 15th and 24th of this year, the ECOWAS Court of Justice, integrated by the former Minister of Justice of Cape Verde, Judge Rapporteur Januaria Costa, decided that my arrest was illegal and that I should be released immediately. Along the same lines, on June 8th and 16th, the United Nations Human Rights Committee decided to suspend the process of my extradition while investigations into torture and refusal to provide medical care were carried out, accusations I did against Cape Verdean officials.
In both cases, the determinations of these bodies were ignored, in an attitude that reveals an absolutely insulting degree of arrogance for the Government, which is difficult to understand from a nation that joined these international organizations precisely to overcome its smallness and make something greater, preserving their dignity.
But it seems that, in the present case, all Cape Verde’s aspirations to join the Concert of Nations and become an example to follow, were thrown overboard for political files.
I am a Special Envoy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and a Deputy Ambassador to the African Union. These two positions and functions undoubtedly grant me immunity and personal inviolability according to the international laws and regulations that rules the movement of diplomats throughout the world without being persecuted, arrested or conditioned in the performance of their missions.
It turns out that, with its action, Cape Verde, under the direction of the United States, is setting a dangerous precedent, initiating a practice that powerful countries such as China and the Russian Federation are observing and that, in due time, may produce a boomerang effect that will affect both, the United States and Cape Verde.
It is to these consequences, harmful in the short, medium and long term, that I draw your attention, in addition to inviting you to take a look at the situation in which the Government and the judiciary system of your country placed me, which, however, I wish much success in the journey towards development and full independence. In this course, Cape Verde has many challenges, and one of them is to qualify its judicial machinery and improve its political system, whose actors must be discreetly and successfully chosen from among the best men and women of the country, and this is undoubtedly the right time for this.
Where I am, detained in extremely restrictive conditions, I already feel identified with your country, which, unfortunately, I know very little about it despite living here for a year and a half. But I am moved by the spirit of Cape Verde, the characteristics that identifies the common man of these islands.
For this reason, I leave my best regards here.
LETTERS FROM CAMILLA FABRI SAAB
Letter # 01 Date: April 21, 2021 Title: Addressed to: Ulisses Correia
Your Excellency, José Ulisses de Pina Correia e Silva
Prime Minister of the Republic of Cape Verde, Palace of the Government of Cape Verde, Av. Ciudad de Lisboa, Praia, Cape Verde
I don’t know if this letter will be read. I write it like when you put a message in a bottle in the sea. Furthermore, I write it with the same strength of desperation that has a castaway stranded on an island, with the small energy he has left, to sculpt an “SOS” in the sand. You will not find anger in this letter. Anger gave way to anguish and pain. But you will read, through these few lines, suffering and anguish, all wrapped in a sense of stubborn resistance.
Since June 12th, 2020, Cape Verde keeps detained my husband, Alex Saab. I let the jurists constantly convince you of the arbitrariness of this detention, which is beyond any doubt. I am convinced that you, personally, are fully aware of this fact. Because arbitrariness is at the center of this emblematic case of injustice in which the human dignity of man is despised, his honor, his integrity, his life, his freedom is threatened, trampled and violated with impunity.
Even when it was asked to an impartial, independent and international court of law, such as the ECOWAS Court of Justice, to rule after a contradictory debate, formally concluding that the arrest and detention are arbitrary, and that elementary justice requires the immediate release of Alex Saab, Cape Verde chooses to deny justice and refuses to listen to our reasons. You will understand the desperation of the castaway, who believed that justice would be done and that his agony would end. But also, here the arbitrariness, the injustice, the irrational seems to overwhelm any perspective of justice.
I am not writing this letter with the ink of rightness, but with the one of despair and fear. The same desperation in the eyes of Alex Saab’s mother, who died yesterday before she could see her own son for the last time. The same fear that our children have for the fate of their father, at the hands of his persecutors. This letter is written under the tears of a wife who mourns her suffering from seeing her husband and the father of her children treated with such inhumanity and facing a Kafka trial in which absurdity and arbitrariness merge.
This letter is a cry, a scream, a message of hope and despair. This letter implores to your humanity and demands justice to be done (and respected). The United States and you deprived my husband, Alex Saab, of the last look of his mother, of his family, his children, his wife, they stole his freedom, his dignity, his honor, denying his right to access to justice, his presumption of innocence, his right to health, his most basic human rights.
The suffering is immense, as deep and desperate as this call to your compassion, your humanity and your benevolence.
This letter is also a request on behalf of our children, for the most basic principles of justice, for human dignity, for reason, to set free Alex Saab directly and to help to put an ending to the suffering that this arbitrary detention generates for him and his relatives.
With best regards,
Camilla Fabri Saab
Letter # 02 Date: October 10, 2021 Title: To the good people of Cape Verde
Addressed to: To the People of Cape Verde
I would like to send my sincere thanks to all the people of Cape Verde who have expressed their support for me and my family this past week. You have no idea how much comfort your words have given me and my daughters.
I hope that the Cape Verdean authorities see that neither I nor my four-year-old and 18-month-old daughters represent any threat to Cape Verde and that there is no possible reason to deny us the entry to your country. We just want to meet with our husband and our father, respectively, and ensure that, given his deteriorating health, he receives the care he urgently needs. I hope that the Barlovento Court’s order is respected by those who have been responsible for blocking its order to transfer Alex to Praia.
Please accept my thanks, and I ask you to raise your voices to ensure justice for Alex Saab.
Thanks, Camilla Saab
Letter # 03
Date: October 17th, 2021 Title: My husband will not bow!
Addressed to: Venezuela and the world
To the Venezuelan people, brothers and sisters around the world, to each citizen who has been affected by the US measures against Venezuela, to the Cape Verdeans who suffer the abuses of their own government, to the Americans who fight against their own repressive system against the sovereignty of the people, to our entire family, to our old friends and to the many new ones, to everyone. On behalf of my children and me, I want to denounce the realization of a second kidnapping of my Husband Alex Saab that the United States carried out with the complicity of the government of Cape Verde yesterday afternoon, October 16th of this year.
This cowardly happened in the back of the defense team and us, his relatives, we found out because his sister, who was the only one who could be there to see him a few times, went to the place where he was detained and did not find the hundreds of guards who were watching the place where they kept him daily. The information about his extraction was given by a policeman informally saying simply “they accelerated the extradition”, it is the way in which they always communicated everything… In Cuba, the Cape Verde embassy told a 4-year-old girl, another of 1-year-old and 9 months and to me, that we were persona non grata, they didn’t even open the door to us. They denied my daughters a visa, so they could see their father, my husband, but they didn’t have the courage to do things publicly and officially, they are cowards. The same cowardice practice to prevent the food from entering, threaten him day after day, entering during the night to “take” him for hundreds of days, the same cowardly way in which they denied entry to the medical team, other defense attorneys, always with cowardice.
What bothers the United States is that my husband does not give in, we are a very united family and obviously since he is kidnapped we are also kidnapped with him, but like him, we continue to be brave, calm and fight for the people of the world, for Venezuela, for the legitimate government of Nicolás Maduro and for the truth that will prevail.
PALACE OF NATIONS – 1211 GENEVA 10, SWITZERLAND
Mandate of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and the Special Rapporteur on the harmful effects of unilateral coercive measures in the exercise of human rights.
REFERENCE: TO CPV 2/2021 Excellence,
July 19, 2021
We have the honor to address you in our capacity as the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; as Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and as Special Rapporteur on the negative effects of unilateral coercive measures on the exercise of human rights, in accordance with resolutions 42/22, 42/16, 44/8, 43/20 and 45/5 of the Human Rights Council.
In this context, we wish to draw the attention of his Excellency’s Government to the information we have received related to the arrest, detention and arbitrary extradition process initiated against Mr. Alex Saab Moran, Special Envoy and Deputy Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the African Union.
According to the information received:
On April 9th, 2018, Ambassador Saab, who has dual Colombian and Venezuelan nationality, was appointed Special Envoy by the Government of Venezuela; With this, he received the responsibility of facilitating the acquisition, on behalf of Venezuela, of the humanitarian resources that the country needed so much. Due to the urgent need to guarantee the obtaining of these resources in the face of the continuous deterioration of the economy, exacerbated by the oil and commercial embargo imposed on Venezuela, in June 2020, the Governments of Venezuela and Iran agreed that Ambassador Saab would travel to Iran to buy essential food and medicine to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
On June 12th, 2020, at 9:30 p.m., Ambassador Saab was detained by the Cape Verdean authorities at the international airport Amilcar Cabral in Sal (Republic of Cape Verde). That day, at 8:09 p.m. local time, the plane in which Ambassador Saab was traveling from Caracas to Tehran on his special diplomatic mission made a stopover in the Republic of Cape Verde to refuel. Once there, a police officer arrested him and forced him to leave the plane against his will. When this happened, Ambassador Saab immediately declared his diplomatic status and asked his immunity be respected, but his requests were ignored.
During his arrest, Ambassador Saab carried a suitcase with letters and documents that demonstrated the character of his charge and his trip on a diplomatic mission. Law enforcement officials seized the suitcase and examined the diplomatic letters, but disregarded them and ignored the ambassador’s diplomatic status.
In addition, at the time of the arrest, the authorities refused to disclose any information about the reasons for the arrest and did not present him with an arrest warrant or a red notice. On the other hand, the reason for his arrest or detention has not yet been officially communicated to him and Ambassador Saab has not been charged. At the time of his arrest, Ambassador Saab was not informed about his consular rights and had difficulty communicating with his lawyer.
It has been reported that Ambassador Saab was detained by Cape Verdean law enforcement forces due to the involvement of intelligence services of foreign states, probably from or closely linked to the United States of America. On July 25th, 2020, the United States charged Ambassador Saab with allegedly being “responsible for or abetting in, or participating directly or indirectly in, all transactions or a set of transactions that involved deceptive or corrupt practices originated from the Government of Venezuela or from projects or programs administrated by the Government of Venezuela”.
On the day of his arrest, Ambassador Saab was mistreated and tortured by State agents. They put a plastic bag over his head and then repeatedly hit him with towels. These acts were intended to extract information and statements against the Venezuelan Government and force him to accept his extradition to the United States of America. He was forced to sign and make statements against the Government and the President of Venezuela. He was also insulted, humiliated and threatened with death by the agents who interrogated him. In addition, he was also deprived of food and water for two days. These acts of torture and mistreatment against Ambassador Saab continued during his detention. It seems that the authorities did not carry out an effective investigation into the allegations of torture.
The authorities later claimed that the arrest had occurred in response to a Red Notice allegedly issued by INTERPOL at the request of the United States of America. At the time of Ambassador Saab’s arrest, neither the copy of the alleged red notice (which had not been issued at the time) nor the arrest warrant was presented to him.
On June 14th, 2020, two days after the arrest without a warrant, the Sal Judicial District Criminal Court confirmed the arrest. Ambassador Saab’s lawyer challenged his detention through a series of habeas corpus petitions and appeals. These appeals were based on (1) the inviolability and immunity of the victim, (2) the illegality of the red notice, and (3) the victim’s health problems aggravated by his detention. All these appeals were rejected by the court.
In addition, the Red Notice was not issued until the day after Ambassador Saab’s arrest, on June 13th, 2020. On June 25th, 2020, the INTERPOL General Secretariat informed Ambassador Saab that the Red Notice against him had been canceled.
On June 29th and 30th, 2020, the United States of America sent an extradition request to Cape Verde. The request was based on the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida of July 25th, 2019, which accused Ambassador Saab of money laundering crimes allegedly committed between November 2011 and September 2015.
Considering that there is no extradition treaty between the United States of America and Cape Verde, Ambassador Saab’s extradition request was based on the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (“UNTOC”), from which both Cape Verde and the United States of America are part of it.
The Cape Verdean authorities stated that the detention was carried out based on the general principles of international legal assistance, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 3 and 4 of Law No 6/VIII/2011 of August 29th of the Republic of Cape Verde.
Ambassador Saab was detained in Cape Verde while he waited for his extradition to the United States of America between June 12th, 2020 and January 25th, 2021 and was held in various prisons and detention centers.
From June 12, 2020, to June 18, 2020, Ambassador Saab was detained at the Salt Regional Prison; then, on June 18, 2020, he was transferred to the Central Prison of the Island of São Vicente; on July 3, 2020, he was transferred again to the Salt Regional Prison; and on August 1 to the Hospital Regional de Sal due to chest pains. Ambassador Saab was returned to Sal Regional Prison that same day.
On December 2nd, 2020, the ECOWAS Court of Justice asked the State of Cape Verde to comply with the precautionary measures, in particular to replace the coercive measure of imprisonment of Ambassador Saab with house arrest and to allow him to receive necessary medical treatment at his own expense. The Cape Verdean authorities refused to comply.
On January 25th, 2021, Ambassador Saab was finally transferred from Sal prison to a guarded residence from which he cannot leave and where he is under constant surveillance by “about 50 armed police officers and drones that they fly over the courtyard and the house”.
Ambassador Saab’s communications were kept to the minimum. He could not send letters, use a mobile phone, or a computer and was not allowed to communicate freely. His food was registered. Except for visits from his lawyer, all other visits have been prohibited or strictly regulated since June 12th, 2020, and only one family visit has been allowed since the arrest. Ambassador Saab has been deprived of all contact with his wife and children. His parents died of Covid-19 on April 20th and 29th, 2021, and he was not allowed to attend the funeral or perform the funeral rites.
Furthermore, Ambassador Saab was not informed of his consular rights at the time of his arrest or during his detention and was unable to communicate with consular officials. The Venezuelan ambassador was authorized to visit him on June 20th, 2020 and July 21st, 2020. Except for these two visits, the Venezuelan ambassador was not allowed to receive any visit or contact until the end of April 2021.
Ambassador Saab also had difficulty communicating with his lawyer, with whom he was unable to meet freely and confidentially during the first part of his detention. He did not have full access to his lawyers, as the authorities limited their ability to defend him and denied him due process. Access to the territory of Cape Verde was denied to his international lawyers.
The Saab ambassador suffers from cancer and other conditions that require special treatment and particular conditions to survive: potentially lethal heart problems, stomach cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. He has been denied from being examined by independent doctors and from receiving the proper treatment required by his illness.
On March 15th, 2021, the ECOWAS Court of Justice issued a decision ordering Cape Verde to release Ambassador Saab with immediate effect, restoring his freedom of movement, to stop all procedures and paperwork related to his extradition to the United States and to compensate him for the non-pecuniary damage suffered as a result of his detention.
Despite this decision, on March 16th, 2021, the Supreme Court of Justice of Cape Verde granted the extradition of Ambassador Saab to the United States of America. The court stated in its order that the decisions of the ECOWAS Court “are not binding on Cape Verde”, and that “even if the State of Cape Verde were bound by the decisions of the ECOWAS Court issued in the context of the individuals’ complaints for alleged human rights violations, non-compliance with this decision would only be a matter of international responsibility of the State. Never in direct compliance with this decision of the national courts”. It is necessary to point out that with this last decision of the Supreme Court of Justice was granted the extradition, exhausting all available ordinary resources.
The UN Human Rights Committee has issued interim measures asking Cape Verde to cancel Ambassador Saab’s extradition and provide him with access to independent medical care. Furthermore, the arrest and detention of Ambassador Saab would have occurred in the context of the broader restrictions imposed on the Republic of Venezuela, which prevent its population from obtaining vital humanitarian assistance.
Without wishing to prejudge the accuracy of the information received, we express our deep concern about the accusations of arbitrary arrest, detention and extradition proceedings against Ambassador Saab. We also express our concern about allegations of torture and other mistreatment received during his arrest and detention, as well as allegations that Ambassador Saab was denied of independent medical examination and adequate treatment for his serious health condition.
Relating to the above allegations, please refer to the attached annex containing the texts of the legal instruments and other norms related to human rights.
Given the urgency of the case, we would be grateful if Your Excellency’s Government would give us a detailed response as soon as possible on the measures adopted to protect the rights of the person mentioned, in accordance with Cape Verde’s international commitments on human rights. (derived from the UDHR and the ratification by the statements of the CCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).
We file this appeal to protect the rights of ambassador Saab from irreparable harm and without prejudice to a possible judicial decision.
As it is our responsibility, by virtue of the mandates that the Human Rights Council has given us, we request your collaboration to clarify the cases that have been brought to our attention, and we would appreciate your Government’s comments on the following points:
- We ask you to provide us with any additional information or comments related to the above allegations as soon as possible.
- Please provide detailed information on the factual motives and legal basis for the arrest, detention and possible extradition of Ambassador Alex Saab Moran to the United States, including the exact nature of the charges against him and the facts that support them, and explain how they are consistent with Cape Verde’s obligations under international human rights law to which the State has subscribed.
- Please indicate if Ambassador Saab enjoyed legal and procedural guarantees after his arrest, including his right to regular legal and consular assistance, as well as other guarantees to a fair trial.
- Please provide information on the measures taken to investigate the allegations of torture and other mistreatment committed against Ambassador Saab since his arrest and during his detention. If no investigation has been carried out, please explain why and how this is consistent with the State’s obligations under its CAT (Convention Against Torture) ratification.
- Please provide information on Ambassador Saab’s current physical and mental integrity, in particular on his state of health, as well as on the measures that have been taken to provide him with adequate medical treatment.
- Please provide detailed information on the measures taken by the Cape Verdean authorities to assess the risk of torture or mistreatment to which Ambassador Saab could be subjected if he is extradited to the United States, to ensure that, in case of extradition, this does not happen.
- Finally, we would be grateful if you could specify on what legal basis and with what specific authority the withdrawal of Ambassador Saab’s immunity was allowed to arrest, detain and bring him before a court in Cape Verde as a foreign diplomat.
At first sight, based on the information in our possession, the situation to which the highest authorities of Cape Verde have subjected Ambassador Saab would seriously, and deliberately violate Cape Verde’s commitments to respect the highest principles of fundamental human rights.
While awaiting your response, we request Your Excellency’s Government to take all necessary measures to put an end to the alleged violations and prevent their recurrence and, if investigations confirm or suggest that the aforementioned allegations are true, to ensure the prosecution of anyone responsible for the alleged violations.
We want to point out that after having sent a joint communication to the Government, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention may also deal with the case under its ordinary procedure to issue an opinion on whether the deprivation of liberty constitutes arbitrary detention. The use of the urgent procedure, which has a purely humanitarian nature, does not prejudge the opinion that the Working Group may issue. The Government must submit separate responses under the urgent procedure and the ordinary procedure.
We would appreciate it if you would reply to these questions within 60 days. Once this period has elapsed, this communication, as well as the response received from the Government of His Excellency, will be made public on the communications web page. They will also be available thereafter in the periodic report submitted to the Human Rights Council.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the testimony of our highest consideration.
Miriam Estrada Castillo
Vice President of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health
Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers
Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Special Rapporteur on the negative effects of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights
References to legal instruments and other norms related to human rights.
The above information seems to indicate unless proven otherwise, violation of the right to liberty, personal security and physical and moral integrity, as well as the right to justice and a fair trial, enshrined in articles 7, 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Cape Verde adhered on August 6, 1993.
The prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment has become an imperative international norm of jus cogens, reflected in the most fundamental texts of international human rights law; among them are article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), articles 2 and 16 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), of which Cape Verde is a member; Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Article 2 of the Convention against Torture underlines the fundamental principle that “exceptional circumstances such as a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency may not be invoked as a justification for torture” and article 12 that “every State Party shall ensure that, whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe that an act of torture has been committed within its jurisdiction, the competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation”.
In this regard, the Human Rights Committee, in paragraph 14 of its General Section No. 20 on article 7 of the Convention against Torture, stated that allegations of torture must be promptly and impartially investigated by the competent authorities so that the solution is effective.
We also want to highlight the absolute and non-derogable prohibition of returning people to a place where they are at risk of being subjected to torture or other mistreatment. Consequently, Article 3 of the Convention against Torture establishes that “no State Party shall expel, return or extradite a person to another State when there are reasonable grounds to believe that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture” and that “For the purposes of determining whether such reasons exist, the competent authorities shall consider all relevant considerations, including, where appropriate, the existence in the State in question of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or massive violations of human rights. Humans”.
In addition, we recall that international extradition law establishes the procedures that countries must follow when arresting, detaining and returning persons for criminal prosecution in another country, and that they are designed to guarantee respect for the right of this person to a fair trial, in accordance with article 14 of the Covenant.
These measures are not optional but mandatory; the State of Cape Verde freely consented to them when it ratified the relevant treaties, and they do not justify any exceptions.
We want to recall that, in its previous jurisprudence, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention established that immunity must be withdrawn before an arrest and that any detention of a person enjoying immunity is illegal. In this regard, we recall that, according to article 9.1 of the ICCPR, no one may be deprived of their liberty except for the causes and in accordance with the procedure established by law. Therefore, for the deprivation of liberty to be considered lawful, the procedure must be respected. When the legal system (including the international obligations of the State) requires the withdrawal of immunity as a condition precedent to the deprivation of liberty of a person, this requirement must be respected.
We also remind you that any person arrested must be informed, at the time of his arrest, of its reasons and will be notified directly of the charges against him. Any person arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other authority empowered by law to exercise judicial power and shall be tried within a reasonable time or released.
In addition, article 9 (4) also gives the detained person the right to challenge the legality of the detention before a judicial authority. The United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Remedies and Judicial Proceedings for Persons Deprived of their Liberty indicates that the right to challenge the lawfulness of detention in court is an autonomous human right, the absence of it constitutes a violation of human rights. In addition, every person deprived of liberty is entitled to the assistance of a lawyer of his choice at any time during his arrest, including immediately after it takes place. Access to counsel may not be unlawfully or unreasonably restricted.
Similarly, as the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention pointed out in its annual report to the Human Rights Council in 2018, consular assistance or protection is, above all, a preventive mechanism that provides an important guarantee for people arrested and detained in a foreign state to ensure respect for international standards. It provides detainees, as well as consular officers of the detainee’s nationality, with certain consular rights, such as the right of consular officers to freely communicate and have access to their detained nationals, as well as to be informed of the detention directly.
In this regard, we must also remember article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Cape Verde has been a party since 1979, which establishes that consular officials are free to communicate with nationals of their State and to have access to them.
Article 14 of the ICCPR recognizes and protects the right to justice and a fair trial, which includes, among other things, the right to equality before the courts, the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the right to be heard publicly and with due guarantees by a competent court, which will be independent and impartial, the right to be informed directly, in detail and in a language understood by the detained person about the nature and cause of the accusation against him, the right to be tried without unnecessary delay and the right not to be compelled to testify against oneself or to plead guilty. More specifically, Article 14 (3) (b) of the ICCPR guarantees the right to have adequate time and means for the preparation of the defense and to communicate with a lawyer of their choice.
Relating to the previous norms, we recall that the Human Rights Committee, in paragraph 22 of its General section 35 on article 9 (Liberty and security of the person), stated that “the third sentence of paragraph 1 of article 9 establishes that no one may be deprived of his liberty, except for the causes and in accordance with the procedures provided by law. All grounds on which a person may be arrested or detained must be established by law and must be defined with sufficient precision to avoid overly broad or arbitrary interpretation or application. Deprivation of liberty not authorized by law is illegal. Continued detention despite an enforceable court order of release or an amnesty is also unlawful.
In addition, paragraphs 24-26 of General Section 35 establish that persons deprived of liberty must be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for it. They must also be promptly informed of the charges against them. This information must be provided immediately after arrest. Likewise, Principle 10 of the Set of Principles for the Protection of All Persons Subject to Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment establishes that any detained person must be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reason for it and must be informed directly of the charges against him.
We also wish to refer Your Excellency’s Government to article 10 of the ICCPR, which guarantees the right of every person deprived of liberty to be treated humanely and with the respect due to the inherent dignity of the human being. In this regard, we draw your attention to paragraph 3 of General Section 21 of the Human Rights Committee, according to which article 10 (1) of the ICCPR imposes a positive obligation on States Parties regarding persons who are particularly vulnerable in by virtue of their condition as persons deprived of liberty and for them, it adds the prohibition of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment contained in Article 7 of the ICCPR.
We also recall Cape Verde’s obligation, under article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, ratified by the State on August 6, 1993) to refrain from denying or limiting equal access to preventive services, curative and palliative health services to all people, including prisoners or detainees (Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
General Comment 14 of the CESRC, paragraph 34) and Rule 24 of the Principles for the Protection of All Persons Subject to Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment that provides for the provision of care and medical treatment to sick prisoners.