Alex Saab’s Diplomatic Immunity Ruling Freezes His Court Case

The trial against the Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab, in the Court of the US Southern District of Florida, was suspended due to the ongoing appeal for his diplomatic status. The appeal was filed in April of 2021, reported FuserNews. The current complaint in regards to the recognition of his diplomatic status, which would confer immunity for Ambassador Saab, has been fought in the Court of Appeals of the Eleventh Circuit of Atlanta, Georgia, since April 1, 2021 when the defense team requested that the court “annul the order conferring the status of fugitive.”

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Interview: Wife Of Venezuelan Diplomat ‘Kidnapped’ By The US

On Wednesday, November 24, MintPress News Editor in Chief Mnar Adley sat down to speak with Camila Saab, the wife of imprisoned Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab.

Saab was on a diplomatic mission to Iran in June 2020, where he was tasked with securing deals for food, medicine and personal protective equipment. His plane stopped off in Cabo Verde — a group of islands off the west coast of Africa — for a routine refueling.

He would never finish his journey, as, on orders from the United States government, local authorities stormed the vehicle, forcing him off the plane — an event that would begin his 18-month detention. “I never imagined that Cabo Verde was going to kidnap a diplomat,” said the Italian-born former model and mother of two.

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Briefing: Venezuelan Elections November 2021

Venezuela goes to the polls again on  N21ovember in ‘mega elections.’ The dialogue that began in late summer between the Venezuelan government and sections of the hard right-wing opposition had been going well, with some definite outcomes. These include the decision by some right-wing opposition parties that have boycotted elections for years to take part in the elections.

But the US’s illegal extradition from Cape Verde of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, who was en-route to Iran to broker a trade deal to bring fuel, food and medicines to Venezuela, has threatened to sabotage both the talks, as the US did before in 2018 and 2019, and the elections. The regional and municipal elections being contested on 21 November are for the posts of state governors, mayors, regional legislators and local councilors, totaling 3,082 elected positions.

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US ‘Justice’ Dismisses 7 Of 8 Charges Against Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab

On Monday, November 1, the US Department of Justice dismissed seven charges of money laundering against Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, leaving only one charge of conspiracy to commit that crime.

The motion was presented by the prosecutor Kurt Lunkenheimer, the day a hearing was scheduled in which the eight charges were to be read to Saab, a procedure that was postponed to next November 15, reported  EFE news agency. The request was issued because the prosecution could not find sufficient evidence to prove the accusations, as Saab’s defense team had argued. The decision aligns with the fact that the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office dismissed its own investigation early this year for lack of evidence to support Washington’s fabricated case.

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Protest In Miami In Support Of Alex Saab

Members of the Bolivarian Circle in Miami and Trokia Kollective chant “free Alex Saab” outside Miami’s Clyde Atkins Courthouse on Monday, Nov 1st – the day originally scheduled for Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab’s arraignment. Despite the disappointing delay of his arraignment to November 15th, his supporters are energized as they stand witness outside Ambassador Saab’s prison, the Miami Federal Detention Center (FDC). They are resolute in their commitment to Diplomat Saab for breaking through the crippling illegal U.S. unilateral economic sanctions imposed on the people of Venezuela.

Reportedly, the arraignment was postponed at the request of one of his lawyers, Henry Bell, since Diplomat Saab is “quarantined” from meeting with them in person.

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Alex Saab Case: Mapping The US’ Main Violations Of International Law

Alex Saab is a Special Envoy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and also its Deputy Permanent Representative to the African Union. He was arrested and detained in the Republic of Cape Verde (“Cape Verde”) on June 12, 2020, following a request from the United States of America and remained in arbitrary detention until October 16, 2021, when he was illegally removed by the United States to Miami.

This operation carried out by the United States against a Venezuelan diplomat is marked by a series of violations of international law attributable directly or indirectly to the United States. Although the arbitrary arrest and detention of Alex Saab took place in Cape Verde, there is no doubt that the situation was the result of an operation sponsored by the United States, which violated international law, either directly or by proxy, through the authorities of Cape Verde.

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Miami Defenders Rally For Release Of Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab

On Sunday, October 24, representatives from more than six independent activist groups led by the Bolivarian Circle of Miami joined forces at the foot of the statue of Latin American hero, Simon Bolivar, in the Miami Torch of Friendship Park, to demand Venezuelan Ambassador Alex Saab’s immediate release from U.S. prison and repatriation to Venezuela. 

The Venezuelan diplomat was kidnapped twice by Washington. First, Alex Saab was kidnapped under orders of the Trump administration on June 12, 2020, while his plane refueled in Cape Verde, then again, under the Biden administration, on Saturday, October 16 from Cape Verde to Miami. Ambassador Saab was abducted from Cape Verde without the knowledge of his legal team or family the day before the island’s presidential election.

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The US Will Break Any Laws To Protect The Elites: The Saab And Assange Cases

The United States government demonstrates repeatedly that it will do whatever it takes to protect the economic and political interests of the elites, even if it means total disregard for human rights and international law. Two cases that highlight this are the recent kidnapping and prosecution of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab and the attempts to extradite the Australian Wikileaks publisher and journalist Julian Assange. Clearing the FOG speaks with Roger Harris of Task Force on the Americas who travelled to Cabo Verde where Saab was detained and tortured for over a year before his rendition to Miami and with Joe Lauria, the editor of Consortium News, who has covered the case of Julian Assange extensively.

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Biden Administration Is Undermining The Venezuela Dialogue

The talks between the Venezuelan government and the extreme-right wing opposition had been going well. There are still outstanding issues to be resolved, like ending the economic war, but the discussions held in Mexico led to concrete electoral developments. The European Union agreed to send an electoral observation mission. The United Nations decided to send a panel of electoral experts. (Both institutions refused to observe the 2018 presidential and 2020 legislative elections, despite invitations from the government.) Thousands of opposition candidates registered to run in the mega-elections, which include voting for governors and mayors, as regional and local legislators.

It’s a good thing that agreements on the elections were reached quickly, because the Biden administration, following in the Trump administration’s footsteps, has been actively undermining the dialogue.

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Alex Saab To Appear Today Before A Judge In Miami

On the afternoon of Monday, October 18, Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab will appear before a judge in Miami, United States, after having been illegally extradited from Cape Verde. This action has been classified by the Venezuelan government as a kidnapping by the US with the complicity of Cape Verdean authorities.

A spokeswoman for the US Justice Department, Nicole Navas, reported that Saab is scheduled to appear at 1 p.m. on Monday, October 18 before Judge John J. O’Sullivan of the US Federal Court for the Southern District of Florida. “Saab was extradited today from Cape Verde to the United States to be processed on the charges that were brought against him in July 2019,” stated Navas.

The US government accuses Saab of allegedly laundering the equivalent of over $350 million.

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Venezuelan Government Envoy Alex Saab Extradited To The United States

Venezuelan government envoy Alex Saab has been extradited to the United States from Cape Verde, where he had been imprisoned since 2020. The extradition was first reported by local Cape Verde outlets and later confirmed by US officials. The contractor will face trial in Florida where he was charged with money laundering. The Nicolás Maduro government immediately reacted, denouncing the “kidnapping” of Saab by the US government.

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Forbes Reveals Why The US Government Is Trying To Extradite Alex Saab

Alex Saab is “the key that unlocks the Venezuelan monetary mystery—that is, how a country facing sanctions from the US, the UK and the European Union—is still able to export things like gold and oil…and really the only man who can actually explain how the country [Venezuela] survives today,” according to Forbes.

The US would far prefer to just quietly extradite Saab to Miami, use whatever means necessary to extract sensitive information from him, and then warehouse him in the world’s largest prison system. Forbes uses the euphemism “under pressure” by US prison authorities as the means to force Saab to “shed light on Venezuela’s post-sanction economic network.” Saab already reports that his surrogate captors in Cabo Verde, described below, have unsuccessfully employed torture to try to break his will and induce him to betray Venezuela.

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Outrage Over Atrocities Committed Against Alex Saab

After receiving a letter from the diplomat Alex Saab, the head of the Venezuelan government delegation in the Mexico Talks, Jorge Rodríguez, expressed outrage at the atrocities committed against this representative of Venezuelan diplomacy. In the letter, Saab denounced his subjection to torture in Cape Verde, including psychologically torment. For example, authorities had deprived him of water for days, wrote Saab, “because according to them they must pass the transparent bottles through the x-ray, and the machine is always damaged.”

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Alex Saab Defence Team Confident Of Achieving His Release

Femi Falana, SAN, who heads up Alex Saab’s ECOWAS Defence commented “Contrary to some of the statements which have been made in the media, the legal process is far from over and His Excellency Alex Saab will not be going to the United States any time soon. The decision of the Constitutional Court on 7 September is leaves many legal ambiguities and my colleague Dr Jose Manuel Pinto Monteiro will be seeking clarification from the Court by way of an urgent submission this afternoon.” 

Dr Rutsel S.J. Martha, Interpol’s former Head of Legal Affairs, highlighted the fact that no arrest warrant issued at the time of Alex Saab’s arrest on 12 June 2020, which despite the attempt by the Constitutional Court to brush this aside as an inconvenience, cannot be ignored as it is an absolute must, as required by Cape Verde’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

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Cape Verde’s Top Court Approves Maduro Envoy’s Extradition To US

Praia – Cape Verde’s highest court ruled on Tuesday that Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman who is wanted by U.S. authorities on charges of laundering money on behalf of Venezuela’s government, should be extradited to the United States.

Saab, who is close to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, was detained in Cape Verde in June 2020 when his plane stopped there to refuel. He faces extradition to the United States, which accuses him of violating U.S. sanctions.

Saab’s lawyers have called the U.S. charges “politically motivated.”

A West African regional court ruled in March that Saab’s detention was illegal because an Interpol red notice requesting his arrest was only issued the day after he was detained.

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