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President Biden continues ‘legal kidnapping’ of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab

By Jim Byrne

Tucson, AZ – One year ago on June 12, when President Trump was still in office, the vicious talons of the U.S. government reached into the West African country of Cape Verde to snatch its prey: Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab. The Colombian-born businessman was on a special mission as an envoy for the Venezuelan government. He was heading to Iran to secure trade arrangements for a vitally important food program called CLAP that delivers food to more than 85% of Venezuelan homes.

As the plane needed to refuel on its long flight, it touched down in Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa. Cape Verde is a country known for its fierce anti-colonial liberation struggle from Portugal. Now however, Cape Verde takes orders from the U.S. empire, and breaking both its own and international laws, it detained Alex Saab.

Saab is held on bogus charges, a hallmark of U.S. extradition claims. The U.S. claimed that he laundered money into Swiss banks. After two years of investigation, the Swiss government determined the charges unfounded. The U.S. even tried to cover its tracks of illegal detention by having INTERPOL post a ‘red notice’ for Saab’s arrest the day after he was actually arrested. This was dismissed by the Cape Verde Supreme Court.

Despite the fact that Saab broke no law in any country and the charges against have been proven bogus, he remains under arrest in Cape Verde awaiting extradition to the United States.

“To me, this sounds very dirty, similar to the case of Colombian revolutionary Simon Trinidad who the U.S. extradited in 2004 for resisting the U.S. war in his own country. It took four trials in the U.S. to convict Trinidad on one charge. He is now in Florence supermax prison, but he should be set free,” said Tom Burke of the Committee to Free Simon Trinidad.

Burke continued, “Now the U.S. is waging a low-intensity war on Venezuela. President Trump vastly expanded the illegal economic sanctions against Venezuela. Then Trump tried a violent coup and assassination attempts against President Maduro. It is outrageous!”

“Saab needs to be set free now. The U.S. case against Saab smells like rotting fish. Biden needs to stop this immediately,” Burke emphasized.

Venezuela sent Saab to Iran to broker food trade deals because U.S. sanctions are the single greatest cause of economic hardship for the Venezuelan people. They cost billions in lost oil revenues, which the Venezuelan government uses for important social programs that serve the working class.

Despite the sanctions and the illegal embargo by the U.S. Navy off the coast of Venezuela, the Bolivarian Revolution continues to thrive and finds ways to provide for its people. This feeble attempt by Biden and the U.S. State Department reveals the weaknesses of the U.S. empire.

The United States continues to punish Venezuela for pursuing political independence, economic development and solidarity with its neighbors. Despite all the economic sanctions, medical equipment embargos and coup attempts, Venezuela continues to arrange trade deals with partners and provide a good life for the majority of working people.

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