The Chavista regime of Venezuela suspended on Saturday its participation in the negotiations with the opposition that would resume this weekend, after Cape Verde extradited Alex Saab, a man considered a front man of the illegitimate president Nicolas Maduro, a USA for money laundering charges.
Saab, a Colombian businessman and Maduro’s “special envoy,” was detained in Cape Verde in June 2020 when his plane stopped there to refuel. In September this year, a constitutional court in the tiny Atlantic archipelago nation ruled that Saab should be extradited.
The Chavista regime, which confirmed that Saab was taken to the United States, condemned the extradition and pointed out that the “special envoy” was “kidnapped” by the US authorities.
The illegitimate Chavista government “denounces the kidnapping of the Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab, by the United States government in complicity with the Cape Verde authorities, who tortured him and arbitrarily held him prisoner for 491 days, without an arrest warrant or due process. ”Said a statement released by the Chavista Communication Minister on his Twitter account.
“We hold the Cape Verdean authorities and the Government of President (Joe) Biden responsible for the life and physical integrity of Alex Saab, and we reserve ourselves as a sovereign nation the actions that we will take accordingly,” he added.
Shortly after, the head of the Venezuelan government delegation, Jorge Rodríguez, said that the ruling party was suspending its participation in the round of negotiations with the opposition scheduled for this weekend in Mexico.
“With the irresponsible suspension of their assistance to Mexico, they once again evade urgent attention to the country, which today suffers with 76.6% extreme poverty,” wrote opposition leader Juan Guaidó on his Twitter account. “The dictatorship turned hunger into a weapon of social control and into a business for its leaders, who today answer to justice,” he added.
In September, the Venezuelan government delegation included Saab as a member of the negotiating table with the opposition, under the facilitation of Norway to seek to solve the country’s political crisis.
“Extradition of Alex Saab is a triumph in the fight against drug trafficking, money laundering and corruption that has led to the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro,” the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, wrote on his Twitter account. “Colombia has supported and will continue to support the United States in an investigation against a transnational crime network led by Saab,” he added.
US judicial authorities have singled out Saab as an operator helping Maduro organize trade deals that Washington seeks to block through sanctions. He has also been sanctioned for allegedly orchestrating a corruption network that allowed him and the Venezuelan president to benefit from a state food subsidy program.
Saab’s lawyers have called the US charges “politically motivated.”
After what happened with Saab, Venezuela would have revoked on Saturday the house arrest granted in April of this year to six former executives of the refiner Citgo, the PDVSA subsidiary in the United States, who were taken to an intelligence police headquarters.
“My father cannot be used as a trade token,” said Cristina Vadell, daughter of Tomeu Vadell, one of the six former executives detained. “I am concerned about his health and more about the cases of coronavirus in the country.”