Alex Saab, businessman and ambassador and alternate permanent representative of Venezuela to the African Union, who is under house arrest in Cape Verde, assures that “the objective of the judicial overreach for political reasons by the United States and some of its regional cronies, is to weaken President Maduro and his government, trying to use me to extract “information to use against him”.

Saab, a Lebanese-Palestinian from Barranquilla, explained, in an interview to RT, that one of the reasons for his appointment was to counter the threat posed by the political and economic attack on Venezuela. “To grant me immunity and inviolability to travel and negotiate freely on behalf of the Republic, as diplomatic agents have done for centuries.”

Arrest of Alex Saab

He states that the economic blockade has meant that many companies that would have been delighted to negotiate with the country have been forced to withdraw from business initiatives, which made it necessary “to seek solutions to create new supply, logistics, financing and commercial relations chains, often with companies and countries that historically would have been left out of the Venezuelan market, due to the presence of U.S. companies. This was especially true in the food, pharmaceutical and consumer goods sectors.

Saab was arrested in Cape Verde last June 12 when he was making a technical stop to refuel gasoline and continue on to Teheran. At that time there was no Interpol red notice or arrest warrant from the U.S. or Cape Verde.

Interpol annulled the measure as illegal.

“Evidently, they were waiting for me,” he said, commenting that “the day after his arrest, on June 13, “the red notice was made to the measure, at the request of the U.S., but Interpol decided to cancel it four days later for being illegal.”

Sabb, who was “detained without an Interpol or U.S. order, about 25 days, until Washington sent through diplomatic channels the request for his detention”, denounces the conditions of “psychological pressure” and the impediments he has had to meet with his doctors, lawyers and family, despite being now under house arrest.

“I am not allowed free communication, to write letters, use cell phones, 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 Army and Police officers, they control even my food. It is exactly the same or worse than prison conditions, with the permanent psychological pressure I am exposed to. I can’t even go out into the courtyard of the house without a drone filming me from the sky, even when I am with my local lawyers. There are armed men in the courtyard. What kind of house arrest is this? A farce.

He also says that when he was in prison he was kept “in prison conditions that the U.S. State Department itself has said “pose a risk to life”.

They wanted to turn Saab against Maduro

In this regard, he says “there are signs everywhere of the work of a third party whose name, as in a scene from Harry Potter, “cannot be mentioned”. Presumably, all in an attempt to break my determination and turn me against Maduro and his Government, to which he is grateful for the opportunities and for having been appointed special envoy of the Venezuelan Government, in April 2018, to collaborate in the supply and provision of basic food and medicines.