They say that timing is everything especially in comedy. The farce that has been running in Cape Verde for over a year now involving the kidnapped Venezuelan ambassador Alex Saab and the politically motivated request for his extradition by the United States appears to be coming to an end. what evidence is there to support this idea?
Miraculously, just a few days before the Cape Verde constitutional court is due to pronounce on Alex Saab’s appeal against a lower court decision to extradite him to the United States, the United States has “just coincidentally” announced its intention to inject $400 million into the local economy by way of the construction of a new embassy complex.
Given that Cape Verde’s GDP is under $2 billion, quite how a project that would represent 20% of that GDP even be feasible is something Ambassador Daigle needs to explain.
According to statements attributed to US Ambassador Jeff Daigle,the construction will result in a direct injection of $100 million into Cape Verde. So do US taxpayers understand that their money is being sunk into West Africa’s largest money-laundering centre to buy an extradition?
Let us not forget that this an extradition which the ECOWAS Court of Justice has declared illegal and an extradition which the United Nations Human Rights Committee has ruled should be halted pending a full investigation by the committee. This is also an extradition the veracity of whose underlying indictment has been questioned by the Geneva Public Prosecutor who ended a three-year investigation by concluding there was no evidence to charge Alex Saab with money laundering. Furthermore, as a lawfully appointed Special Envoy and Deputy Ambassador to the African Union, Alex Saab has the immunity and inviolability which comes with his status.
Despite a highly publicised “ground breaking” ceremony, it should be noted that the $100 million is clearly conditional upon Saab’s extradition. US Ambassador Jeff Daigle himself is quoted in local media as saying “there is a lot of work to be done before the embassy becomes a reality”.
With information from: Asemana