One year after the illegal detention of Alex Saab in Cape Verde, the African country still does not abide by any of the international sentences; issued in favor of Venezuela’s special envoy to Iran and Russia.
The detention was carried out on June 12, 2020, when the Venezuelan ambassador was on a special humanitarian mission en route to Iran; when his plane requested permission to land and refuel.
While Saab’s plane was on the ground, he was boarded by the National Police of Cape Verde, who claimed to have an Interpol red notice for his arrest, issued at the request of the United States.
Regardless of his status as a Special Envoy and the purpose of his humanitarian Special Mission, Alex Saab was detained and has been held illegally for twelve months pending extradition proceedings to the United States.
One year after the arrest of Alex Saab
Cape Verde, in detaining Mr. Alex Saab, broke the rules that have governed the movement of diplomats and political agents for many years.
It bypassed all protocols by forcing the ambassador off his plane and then had Saab purchase a visa on arrival, legally allowing his entry into the country and, in doing so, de facto recognized Saab’s own status that it is now questioning.
Upon learning this news, the Venezuelan government immediately informed Interpol of its mistake in issuing the red notice against a ambassador who, as a special envoy, enjoyed both immunity and inviolability.
Regardless of international law, Prime Minister Ulisses Correia on behalf of Cape Verde ordered his government to freeze his release; after Interpol cancelled the red notice on June 25.
While Cape Verde was holding Ambassador Alex Saab hostage, the United States illegally processed a formal extradition request.
This request arrived on June 29 with irregularities: first, the document was missing the first three pages; second, it contained an arrest warrant in the name of someone other than Alex Saab.
Cape Verde in contempt
Upon learning of the African government’s actions, the international community pronounced itself on the case.
In the first instance, ECOWAS issued a sentence demanding the immediate release and full freedom to Alex Saab; and ordered to compensate the damages caused against the ambassador and, consequently, against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
But this was not complied with by Cape Verde, being currently in contempt of court.
A second sentence came from the court of Barlovento, which authorized the lodging of Saab’s sister in Cape Verde, to support the ambassador for his illegal imprisonment.
However, the government of Cape Verde, saw this measure as unnecessary, and denied Alex Saab’s sister accommodation in the house where she is serving her unjust and illegal house arrest.
And the most recent, a communication sent to the government of the African nation of Cape Verde, by the United Nations Organization (UN), ordering to suspend any kind of extradition process of Alex Saab to the United States; through article 94 of the committee in force.
Consequently, the Attorney General of Cape Verde, Luis Ladim, publicly admitted that “the Alex Saab case has political consequences”. In a matter of 13 days, Cape Verde has three times chosen to make a political decision rather than follow international law with respect to the detention of Alex Saab.