More than 180 human rights organizations worldwide call for a political solution to Alex Saab’s imprisonment
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 against the Venezuelan diplomat 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.
Political solution now!