Declaration of the Venezuela Peace and Solidarity Committee of Vancouver

FREE ALEX SAAB!

The Venezuela Peace and Solidarity Committee of Vancouver demands the immediate release of Venezuelan Special Envoy to the African Union ALEX SAAB from his prison in Cabo Verde and that he be granted safe return to Venezuela.

The Venezuela Peace and Solidarity Committee of Vancouver (VPSC) condemns the kidnapping of Alex Saab by the Caboverdean police in the Archipelago nation of Cabo Verde (CV) on June 12, 2020 during a refuelling stopover of his plane on his way to Iran. He was travelling from Caracas to Tehran on an official mission to buy supplies of food and medicines that are urgent first necessities in Venezuela due to the US unilateral coercive measures (sanctions) against the Latin American country. He has committed no crime. His aim was to help the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro to resist the illegal “sanctions” imposed by the United States opposed to the mandate of the United Nations Charter (only the UN Security Council can impose sanctions on member States).

The United States (US) has made baseless and highly questionable demands to the government of Cabo Verde that Alex Saab be extradited to respond to unfounded accusations of money laundering that have been dismissed by the Swiss government after a lengthy financial investigation. Further, the US and CV have no extradition treaty.

The VPSC reiterates that Alex Saab was kidnapped based on serious irregularities and abuses of international procedures on extradition:

  • Alex Saab holds diplomatic status granted by the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. As such he has the right to diplomatic immunity according to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
  • The Interpol Red Notice to arrest Alex Saab was issued one day after his arrest!
  • The name on the Interpol Red Notice was not that of Alex Saab. It was only “corrected” after his arrest.

The VPSC condemns the US government for unduly abusing the international order by forcing its politically motivated extradition of Alex Saab from CV. The US has also used its financial might offering $400 million investment in the small archipelago equivalent to 6% of its GDP in what appears to be an open bribe given the timing and the circumstances.

The VPSC equally condemns the Cabo Verde’s government for its tacit willingness to comply with the US imperial demands. The West African State dismissed the jurisdictional mandate of the Economic Community of West African States, which ordered that Alex Saab be released and compensated financially. Instead, CV ruled that its own Constitutional Court deliberate on the Saab case.

Therefore, the VPSC rejects the subsequent CV Constitutional Court’s decision that Alex Saab be extradited as demanded by the United States and joins other international organizations – like the Alliance for Global Justice (https://afgj.org/free-alex-saab) – in demanding his immediate freedom and safe return to Venezuela. 

The VPSC recognises and praises the professional and skilful defense team that continues to challenge the powerful US empire and its CV puppet. We finally stand by the legitimate government of Nicolas Maduro as it calls on the international community to manifest publicly and vociferously that the kidnapping of Alex Saab is a criminal act.

The VPSC lauds the United Nations Human Rights Commission for asking Cabo Verde authorities to refrain from extraditing diplomat Alex Saab to the US.

The VPSC calls on other organisations in Canada to join their voices of protest against the US and CV governments for their politically motivated actions. Those actions ultimately aim at harming Venezuela by preventing its international trade necessary to protect its population from the suffering caused by the double calamity of “sanctions” and the COVID pandemic.

28 September 2021

***

Issued by:

The Venezuela Peace and Solidarity Committee of Vancouver representing 

  • Frente Hugo Chavez para la Defensa de los Pueblos-Vancouver
  • Vancouver Peace Council
  • Communist Party of Canada-BC
  • Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada-BC
  • International League of Peoples’ Struggle-Vancouver

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