ACTION ALERT: Free Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab

August 21st, 2023 - by Alliance for Global Justice

Call for Humanitarian Action to
Secure the Release of Alex Saab!
Alliance for Global Justice

The US delays Alex Saab’s trial as more than 180 human rights organizations worldwide call for his release. Join hundreds of activists and organizations calling for Saab’s release. (Learn more)

US Delays Alex Saab’s Trial until June 2024

Alliance For Global Justice

(August 14, 2023) — The judicial delay is used as a weapon by the policy of the United States in the cases of political prisoners in that country. The case of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, arbitrarily detained since June 12, 2020, is no exception.

Once the United States managed to get Cape Verde to commit the illegality of detaining the diplomat Alex Saab and extracting him to its territory on October 16, 2021, the US judicial authorities focused on extending, by all means, the periods to hold the hearings, depending on his defense.

From the day Alex Saab was taken to the United States, until one year and two months later, when the hearing was held in the Southern District Court of Florida, and only two days after the presentation of the arguments was completed, of the evidence, and of the witnesses — on December 23, 2022 — is that said court presented a Judgment that was clearly understood as preconceived and with errors that deserve to be counted.

The first error — which was essential — is that when referring to the defendant they forgot what they accused him of, erroneously stating in the sentence that the accusation against Saab is due to a food program in Venezuela, when in fact, the accusation politically fabricated and without any proof was about a housing construction program in Venezuela.

Likewise, the second part of the sentence tried to discredit the evidence presented by the defense of the Venezuelan diplomat, without even showing any element or counter-evidence that would call them into question. Last but not least, the ruling issued on December 23, 2022 concludes that immunity is essentially denied to the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, because the United States does not recognize the Constitutional Government of Venezuela, headed by President Nicolás Maduro. and by extension it does not recognize the immunity of its diplomats.

This ruling set off alarm bells around the world due to the dangerous precedent that this generates. Jurists have described it as an aberration that violates US legal standards and the agreements already signed by that country, since they know that the United States in the Agreement with the United Nations regarding the host country, had already contemplated that it would respect the immunities and privileges of those members whose governments do not recognize and specify that they will respect their privileges and immunities just as they do those members of States that do recognize.

The Judicial Delay Continues
The case is currently in the Georgia State 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, but the trial of diplomat Alex Saab is being delayed by direct actions by the Department of Justice and the Court of Appeals itself.

The Venezuelan diplomat’s defense team appealed in a timely manner on December 28, 2022, and on March 15, 2023, it presented forceful arguments for said appeal. However, the Court of Appeals waited three months —until June 13, 2023— to acknowledge those arguments. Therefore, from that moment the 30-day period began to run for the Department of Justice to respond to the defense allegations, which had already been public since March.

The Department of Justice first requested an additional 30 days to respond, and later requested an additional 30 days, so they now have until September 13 as the deadline to respond to Saab’s defense arguments.

Due to these delays, it is expected that the hearing on the appeal will be held by June 2024, assuming that the Department of Justice does not request a new extension of the deadlines.

With this element, one can see the clear intention on the part of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court of Appeals itself to continue prolonging this strictly political case, which is part of a policy of persecution and extortion by the United States against those Venezuelan officials who ensured the entry of food, medicine and fuel into Venezuela, such as Alex Saab, despite the unilateral coercive measures applied by the United States against Venezuela.

Faced with this scenario where the laws and an entire justice system are compromised in order to keep Alex Saab imprisoned, do you think it is convenient to insist on a legal solution to the case of the Venezuelan diplomat?

Alex Saab’s Life Is Still in Danger
Recently, 180 organizations that defend Human Rights in the world — among which are two Nobel peace prizes — in a public letter to President Biden, requested a humanitarian measure in favor of the diplomat, considering an exchange of prisoners. The organizations also mentioned that it should be considered that Saab’s health continues to deteriorate, since to date and despite having requested the US authorities through different channels, the diplomat continues without medical attention and his ailments continue to worsen. His human rights are being seriously violated. For this reason, we insist on the question, does the United States want to return the dead Venezuelan diplomat to his homeland?

Everything indicates that the only way to solve this case is one: a political agreement. For this reason, the letter of the almost two hundred organizations addressed to Biden succeeds in suggesting this path as the main way to restore the rights of the Venezuelan diplomat and at the same time that Biden can take advantage of the situation, achieving the release of some of the Americans imprisoned in Venezuela. #FreeAlexSaab!

Letter to President Joseph Biden
United States of America Washington, DC

President Joseph Biden
United States of America,
Washington, D.C.

Mr. President Biden,

We are writing to you to request an urgent humanitarian action to secure the release of the Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab.

As you know, Alex Saab was detained three years ago in Cape Verde by mandate of Donald Trump’s authorities; now the Venezuelan Special Envoy is deprived of his liberty in the United States, facing a judicial process that has generated deep concern in the international community, given his status as a diplomat appointed by the Venezuelan government.

President Biden, we understand the policy you have developed in recent months to negotiate the exchange of prisoners on the basis of your powers, extended by the Executive Order of July 19, 2022, to return home US citizens detained in other countries.

Based on the above, in view of the willingness of the Government of Venezuela and given the delicate health condition of Alex Saab — who is also not receiving medical attention despite being a cancer survivor and having reported several ailments, including vomiting blood — we ask you to make a humanitarian gesture to initiate a prisoner exchange. This would not only highlight the fulfillment of the commitment to bring home US citizens, but would also ratify the compliance of the United States of America with international law.

Through this exchange we are confident that we can put an end to the pain of the families and advance one more step for the understanding between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the United States.

We, the undersigned, hereby request:

Asociación internacional de derechos humanos y desarrollo social, Liga tunecina por los DDHH (Premio Nobel 2015), Túnez; Red de intelectuales, artistas y movimientos sociales en defensa de la humanidad; Asociación Americana de Juristas; Centro di ricerca ed elaborazione per la democrazia / Gruppo d’intervento giuridico internazionale, Italia; Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), Brasil; AATASSIMO for Refugees, Tunez, Association des Juristes et Avocats de Méditerranée (AJAM), Francia; Asociación Nacional de Abogados Democráticos, México; Asociación Mexicana de Abogados del Pueblo – Guerrero, México; Organización Campesina de la Sierra del Sur, México; Comité San Lucas Xochimancas, México; Mexicanos Unidos, México; Centro de Estudios para el Sentido, Investigación y Desarrollo Humano (CESIDEH), México; Tiempo Libre Mx, México; MOMPADE Movimiento Mexicano por la Méditerranée (AJAM), Francia; Union des Avocats Arabes, Egipto; Ligue de la Nation Arabe, Siria; Movimiento Brasil Popular, Brasil; National Lawyer Guild (NLG), United States; American Jurist Association, United States; Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico; Estados Unidos; Latino Justice, United States; Paz y el Desarrollo, México; CODEPINK, United States; Universidad de la Tierra (UNITIERRA) Puebla, México; Colectivo por la Paz en Colombia (COLPAZ), México; Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de Derechos Humanos, México; Movimiento Proletario Independiente, México; Brújula Metropolitana, México; Colectivo Regina Martínez, de Xalapa Veracruz, México; Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos y Víctimas de Violaciones a los Derechos Humanos en México (AFADEM FEDEFAM), México; Red Universitaria de Monitores de Derechos Humanos (RUMODH), México; Asociación de Derechos Humanos del Estado de México (ADHEM), México; Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, A.C. Filial Oaxaca (LIMEDDH-Oax), México; Consejo Federal Ejecutivo Nacional e Internacional del Frente Mexicano Pro Derechos Humanos, A.C. (FMPDH), México; Fundación Diego Lucero, A.C. (FDL), México; Mujeres Guerrerenses por la Democracia, A.C. (MGD), México; Foro Permanente de Mujeres Iztacalco, A.C. (FPM-I), México; Asamblea Vecinal Nos Queremos Vivas Neza (AVNQVN), México; International Action Center, United States; Pro libertad, Estados Unidos; Bolivarian Circle Alberto Lovera, United States; Alliance for Global Justice, United States; US-CUBA NORMALIZATION: Cuba Si, United States; Black Alliance for Peace, United States; Jericho Movement, United States; Fuerza de la Revolución, United States; The People’s Forum, United States; Coordinación Política y Social Marcha Patriótica, Colombia; Congreso de los Pueblos, Colombia; Proyecto Patria, Perú; Nación Andaluza, España; Union Popular, México; Unión de Colonias Populares Villa, México; Movimiento Nacional 20 de noviembre, México; Unidad Patriótica, México; Colectivo Pantera de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, México; Red Estudiantil por la Democracia, México; Coordinadora Mexicana de Solidaridad con Venezuela, México; Centro de Estudios para los Derechos Humanos y la Justicia Ambiental “YURENI”, A.C. (CEPDHJA), México; Actuar Familiares contra la Tortura, (AFT), México; Comunidad Raíz Zubia, A.C. (CRZ), México; Comité de Familiares de Personas Desaparecidas en México Alzando Voces (COFADDEM), México; Fundación para el Desarrollo y Fortalecimiento de las Organizaciones de BASE (FUNDEBASE), Guatemala; Coordinación y Convergencia Nacional Maya Waqib’ Kej, Guatemala; Asociación Maya Ukux Be, Guatemala; Coordinadora Nacional de Viudas de Guatemala (CONAVIGUA), Guatemala; Movimiento de Jóvenes Mayas (MOJOMAYA), Guatemala; Asociación Ajkemab’ Rech K’aslemal, Guatemala; Movimiento FreeAlexSaab Venezuela; Frente Patria Grande, Argentina; Nuestramérica, Argentina; Asociación de Médicos Egresados de la Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (AMELAM); Despertares Derechos Humanos A C, México; ALERTA TEMPRANA RED (AT-R), México; Colectivo Impulso Ciudadano, México; Frente Popular Franco Villa Siglo XXI, México; Movimiento Nacional por la Esperanza, México; Solidaridad para el Desarrollo y la Paz, País Valenciano, SODEPAU-PV, México; SURES, Venezuela; Cumbe Nacional Afrovenezolano; Movimiento de Pobladoras y Pobladores, Venezuela; Izquierda Libertaria, Chile; Instrumento Político Por la Soberanía de de los Pueblos (MAS-IPSP), Bolivia; Plenario Intersindical de Trabajadores – Central Nacional de Trabajadores (PIT- CNT), Uruguay;, Uruguay; El Frente Amplio (FA), Uruguay; Red en Defensa de la Humanidad, Uruguay; Federación Uruguaya de Cooperativas de Vivienda de Ayuda Mutua (FUCVAM), Uruguay; Coordinadora de Apoyo a la Revolución Cubana, Uruguay; Federación de Estudiantes Universitarios del Uruguay (FEUU), Uruguay; CRYSOL, Uruguay; Fundación Martin Luther King, Uruguay; Red Europea de Solidaridad con la Revolución Bolivariana; Brics – Psuv; Conaicop Europa; Colectivo Internacionalista Vientos del Sur; Foro Político, Venezuela; Cátedra Libre de la Mujer María León; Gibory – UNESR, Venezuela; Unión Comunera, Venezuela; Fundavivienda, Venezuela; Federación Rural Para la Producción y el Arraigo, Argentina; Liga Argentina por los Derechos Humanos, Argentina; Coordinadora Americana por los Derechos de los Pueblos, Argentina; Movimiento por la Paz, la Soberanía y la Solidaridad entre los Pueblos (MOPASSOL), Argentina; Central de Trabajadores de la Argentina – CTA Autónoma-, Argentina; FRENADESO, Panamá; Comité de Unidad Campesina (CUC), Guatemala; Asamblea Social y Popular. (ASP), Guatemala; Asociación Grupo Integral de Mujeres Sanjuaneras (AGIMS), Guatemala; ARLAC, Bélgica; Asociación de Servicios Comunitarios (ASECSA), Guatemala; Instrumento Político Por la Soberanía; El Movimiento de Solidaridad y Amistad Mutua Venezuela Cuba; Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos.

The Observatory for the Human Rights of the Peoples:
Argentina Adolfo Pérez Esquivel Premio Nobel de la Paz, Stella Calloni Corresponsal de la Jornada en Buenos Aires; Colombia Rubiel Vargas Secretario Ejecutivo Nacional del Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos de Colombia (CPDH), María Cardona Mejía Defensora de Derechos Humanos, Dr. Mario Hernández Álvarez Coordinador Doctorado Inter facultades en Salud Pública Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Víctor Osorio Cadena Presidente del Sindicato Nacional Memoria Viva; España Ana Andrés Ablanedo Defensora de Derechos Humanos de Soldepaz Pachakuti, Ricardo Sánchez Andrés miembro de la junta de la (ACP) Asociación Catalana por la Paz — miembro de la Asamblea de Internacional de (Comunistes de Catalunya) y miembro permanente del consejo de Solidaridad de la Ciudad de Manresa, María Victoria Fernández Molina Candidata a Doctora en Derechos Humanos, Estados Unidos James Patrick Jordan Coordinador Nacional de la Alianza por la Justicia Global y Eduardo García Activista de la Alianza por la Justicia Global e integrantes del Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos capítulo Estados Unidos, Suiza José Manuel González López, Gerardo Romero Luna y Mariella Bauer integrantes del Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos capítulo Suiza; Venezuela Hugo Alberto Nieves Integrante de la Comisión Política de la Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y Zamora — CRBZ, Yonatan Vargas Abogado Defensor de Derechos Humanos y Analista Internacional de la CRBZ, Indhira Libertad Rodríguez Red de Colectivos La Araña Feminista, José Miguel Gómez García Movimiento Internacional de la Economía de los Trabajadores, , Ali José Álvarez Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos — Movimiento Cultural Campesino Los Arangues Venezuela; Ecuador Abg. Franklin Columba Cuji Presidente de la Unión de Organizaciones Sociales Interculturales del Sur de Pichincha UOSISP de Ecuador; Bolivia Rodolfo Machaca Yupanqui Strio. General de Confederación Sindical Única De Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia – CSUTCB; Palestina Jamal Juma Coordinador STOP The WALL; Guatemala Ana Laura Rojas Padgett integrante de la Red de Integración Orgánica – RIO; Panamá Ligia Arreaga Integrante de la Alianza por un mejor Darién — AMEDAR; Brasil Gizele Martins del Movimiento de Favelas de Rio de Janeiro; Perú Betty Izaguirre Lucano Coordinadora General del Movimiento Alfa y Omega; Chile-Wallmapu — Territorio Mapuche Onesima Lienqueo Fundadora de la Red por la Defensa de la Infancia Mapuche; Chile Pablo Ruiz integrante del Observatorio para el Cierre de la Escuela de las Américas – Chile; Honduras Coordinador General Christopher Castillo de la Alternativa de Reivindicación Comunitaria y Ambientalista de Honduras ARCAH, México Eduardo Correa Senior Profesor de la Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México — UACM, Dr. José Enrique González Ruiz Profesor de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México — UNAM, Dr. José Rafael Grijalva Eternod Doctor en Derechos Humanos, Dr. Félix Hoyo Arana Profesor de la Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo; Daniela González López Coordinadora Internacional del Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos, Soledad Ortiz Vásquez Consejera General del Comité de Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer — CODEM, Claudia Tapia Nolasco Consejera General del Comité de Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer — CODEM, Patrocinio Martínez López representante del Comité de Defensa de los Derechos del Pueblo de Oaxaca — CODEPO, Lic. Hugo Aguilar Promotor y Defensor de Derechos Indígenas, Miguel González Muciño Director del Centro Cultural Las Jarillas y Arturo Díaz González Organización Proletaria Emiliano Zapata — Frente de Organizaciones Sociales de Chiapas OPEZ — FOSICH; Costa Rica Orlando Barrantes Cartín Coordinador General del Movimiento de Trabajadores y Campesinos MTC — Costa Rica.

Organizations of the Human Rights of the People:
Soldepaz — Pachakuti de España; Observatorio de Derechos Humanos Capítulo Suiza, de Suiza; Observatorio de Derechos Humanos Capítulo EU, Alianza por la Justicia Global, SOA Watch — Observatorio por el Cierre de las Escuela de la Américas de Estados Unidos; Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y Zamora — CRBZ, Red de Colectivos La Araña Feminista, Movimiento Internacional de la Economía de los Trabajadores, Movimiento Cultural Campesino Los Arangues de Venezuela; Colombianas y Colombianos por la Paz, Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, Observatorio de Paz, Derechos Humanos y Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Sur Occidente Colombiano Antonieta Mércury; Sindicato Nacional Memoria Viva de Colombia; Red de Integración Orgánica — Rio — Por la Defensa de la Madre Tierra y los Derechos Humanos de Guatemala; Unión de Organizaciones Sociales Interculturales del Sur de Pichincha (UOSISP) de Ecuador; Confederación Sindical Única De Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia (CSUTCB); Alianza por un mejor Darién — AMEDAR de Panamá; Movimiento Alfa y Omega de Perú; Movimiento de Favelas de Rio Janeiro Brasil, Red por la Defensa de la Infancia Mapuche Chile-Wallmapu — Territorio Mapuche; Observatorio para el Cierre de la Escuela de las Américas — Chile; Campaña Popular Palestina contra el Muro de Apartheid (Stop the Wall), Coalición de la Defensa de la Tierra Palestina Unión Palestina Campesina (Palestinian Farmers Union) de Palestina; Alternativa de Reivindicación Comunitaria y Ambientalista de Honduras (ARCAH) de Honduras; Comité de Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer (CODEM), Instituto Mexicano de Desarrollo Comunitario (IMDEC), Centro de Atención en Derechos Humanos a la Mujer y el Menor Indígena (CADHMMI) y Centro Regional Indígena en Derechos Humanos “Ñuu-Savi” (CERIDH), Comité de Defensa de los Derechos del Pueblo de Oaxaca (CODEPO), Patronato Pro Defensa y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural y Natural de Oaxaca (PRO — OAX), Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra en San Salvador Atenco (FPDT-Atenco), Taller del Sur, Colectivo de Mejoramiento Barrial de la Ciudad de México — Centro Cultural Las Jarillas, Colectivo por la Paz en Colombia desde México (COLPAZ), Frente de Organizaciones Sociales de Chiapas (OPEZ — FOSICH), Colectivo Ocho Trueno, Comité Universitario de Solidaridad con el Pueblo Palestino (CUSPPA), Colectivo Insurrección Visual de México; Costa Rica Movimiento de Trabajadores y Campesinos MTC.

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