Kidnapped Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab speaks in court
Saab made the following statement in U.S. Federal Court in Miami on Oct. 16. The statement is lightly edited.
My name is Alex Nain Saab Moran, with Venezuelan diplomatic passport number 045778720. I am a special envoy with diplomatic immunity to the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran since April 2018 and Venezuelan Ambassador Plenipotentiary Alternate to the African Union.
I was hijacked by Cape Verde on June 12, 2020, when my flight stopped to refuel on a special humanitarian mission to continue to the Islamic Republic of Iran by order of my president, Nicolás Maduro Moros.
I was kidnapped without an arrest warrant – required by law in Cape Verde – and without an INTERPOL warrant, in a country that has no extradition treaty with the U.S. They disregarded my diplomatic immunity, which was claimed by Venezuela immediately.
I was tortured physically and psychologically by the U.S. and Cape Verde, with the consent of the government of Donald Trump, and members of the government of Cape Verde including Minister Landim; Prime Minister Ulysess Correia da Silva; Carlos Reiss, head of national security; Paulo Rocha, minister of [internal affairs]; and the director of the Sal Prison, Mr. Correia, for eight months – and with the economic support of the U.S., Juan Guaidó [U.S.-backed pretender to the Venezuelan presidency], and former Venezuelan head of security, Narnia Ivan Simonivis.
Under international pressure on the U.S. government and the decision of ECOWA/CEDEAO [the Economic Community of West African States], I was moved to house arrest … .
The house arrest was a farce, since I always remained locked up as in prison and was watched 24 hours a day by an average of 50 military men who were the ones who handled the keys to the house in which I had no privacy or access to telephone or letters. I had to do everything through only one lawyer, Dr. Pinto Monteiro, who was the only one authorized to visit me. My whole team of international lawyers was deported several times as soon as they landed in Cape Verde – a country that is a lackey of the empire, corrupt and cowardly.
All my human rights were violated; they violated their own laws, deadlines, terms, at the whim and orders of the United States. Now the [Cape Verde] constitutional court has decided to violate 12 constitutional points that were impossible to violate and have authorized my extradition.
I hold the U.S. government and the extremist opposition government of Narnia fully responsible for my integrity, for my life, in the prison to which they are taking me.
I will face the trial with total dignity and asserting my diplomatic immunity as a servant of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela since April 2018.
I wish to make it clear that I have nothing to collaborate with the United States, that I have not committed any crime in the U.S. or in any other country, that I will not lie to favor the U.S. against President Nicolás Maduro or his government – a government totally dedicated to the welfare of its people and which is going through an inhumane blockade by the United States that wants to take over the wealth of the country.
Let us surround our president and our government with a human shield and let us not allow ourselves to be defeated. They will never give in!
I declare that I am of sound mind, that I am not suicidal, just in case they assassinate me and say I commit suicide, which I would never do.
I love my wife Camilla and my children Shadi, Isham, Jad, Mariam Rose and Charlotte more than my own life.
I ask you to be strong and always stay united.
United we shall overcome! Always have faith in God!