By Roger Harris
These are the opening paragraphs of an Aug. 26 update on the struggle to free Alex Saab, published in Resumen LatinoAmericano. See Alex Saab’s own letter on his struggle, ‘No retreat, No surrender!’ in Workers World, Aug. 23.
Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab remains defiant after over 14 months under U.S.-ordered arrest in the African archipelago country of Cabo Verde. A special envoy of the Venezuelan government, he is fighting extradition to the U.S. for the “crime” of trying to procure humanitarian supplies of food, fuel and medicine from Iran in violation of illegal U.S. sanctions. To date, Saab’s legal appeals for freedom have been either denied, rejected or ignored as his extradition to the U.S. is becoming increasingly imminent.
Saab continues to fight this flagrant attempt of extraterritorial judicial overreach by the U.S. In response to Saab’s recent appeal to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court, the U.S. filed on Aug. 24 an application for an extension to reply on Oct. 7. This legal delaying tactic is likely a U.S. ploy to allow Saab’s pending extradition without recognizing his diplomatic immunity.
Under the Geneva Conventions, a credentialed diplomat such as Saab has absolute immunity from arrest, even in the time of war. The U.S. does not recognize Saab’s diplomatic status — as if Washington has the authority to qualify who other countries may choose and receive as their ambassadors. . . .
For the complete Resumen article on Saab’s case, tinyurl.com/ju733uf7.