February 14, 2022
My name is Oscar Lopez Rivera, I’m a former Puerto Rican political prisoner who spent 36 years in prison in the United States for fighting against the colonial status of my country.
Having suffered all kinds of abuse while incarcerated, I can understand the critical situation that Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab is experiencing at this time.
From my own lived experience, I can understand the pain of Camilla Saab, wife of Alex Saab. I can empathize with the suffering of his children who have not seen their father for almost two years. I can comprehend Alex Saab’s pain upon learning of the death of his parents while he was in prison in an unknown land.
On June 12, 2020, the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab was seized by order of U.S. officials, during a refueling stop on a flight from Iran to Venezuela. He was imprisoned on Cabo Verde, a small island nation off the western coast of Africa, for trying to buy humanitarian supplies in legal international trade but in violation of illegal US sanctions.
As of October 16th, 2021, Saab was kidnapped from Cabo Verde, by U.S. officials, acting without an extradition treaty between the two nations, and is now being illegally held in the Federal Detention Center in Miami, FL. The case raises dangerous precedents in terms of extraterritorial judicial abuse by the US in enforcing its unilateral coercive measures against Venezuela and 40 other countries, comprising a third of humanity. Alex Saab’s only “crime” is having managed to legally circumvent the illegal sanctions against his country in order to alleviate the hardship caused by the scarcity of food, medicine and fuel.
The arrest, imprisonment, kidnapping and torture of a diplomat is an unprecedented violation of international laws.
The Venezuelan people as well as the Puerto Rican people are fighting for their sovereignty. The United States intends to strangle the Venezuelan economy and break the legitimate resistance of the people of Simon Bolivar, the liberator.
As a former political prisoner, as a man who has fought against colonialism, and as a Latin American, I invite all my fellow Puerto Ricans to join our campaign for Alex Saab’s freedom.
All the men and women of the “Patria Grande”, wherever they are, say in unison with us, Free Alex Saab, Now!
Please subscribe to our campaign to receive reports on the Alex Saab case and actions that the Free Alex Saab coalition will carry out.
Thank you very much for your support on behalf of the Alex Saab family, the Venezuelan people and my own.
Oscar Lopez Rivera
Honorary Chair of Free Alex Saab