The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela endorses the request of the African Bar Association, made public last Monday, March 1st by its President, Mr. Hannibal E. Uwaifo, and calls upon the Honorable Government of the Republic of Cape Verde to proceed with the immediate release of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, who has been illegally detained in that country since June 12th, 2020, pending the outcome of his extradition hearing.
Alex Saab, Special Envoy and Alternate Ambassador of the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the African Union, is a fully documented diplomat entitled to the protection of customary international law governing the movement and protection of diplomats and political agents, which is why Cape Verde could not and should not interfere in the special humanitarian mission he was carrying out at the time of his detention.
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela warns that for anyone familiar with customary international law, the United Nations Charter and the binding obligations of Cape Verde within the framework of the African Union and ECOWAS, the attitude of the Cape Verdean government is atypical, to say the least.
The adverse conditions of detention that, to our understanding, Ambassador Saab has endured for nearly 270 days are depriving him of his health and, critically, the ability to prepare significantly for his defense, all without having committed any crime.
Ambassador Saab has lost nearly 30 kilos since the beginning of his illegal detention and is losing the ability to concentrate, which substantially impairs the time he can devote to studying the complex issues of international law and U.S. domestic law relating to all aspects of the unfounded allegations made against him and on which the extradition request is based.
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela expresses its conviction that the judicial authorities of Cape Verde will realize the error committed with this detention and is certain that the people of Cape Verde, a brotherly people whom we esteem, also disagree with such facts.
Caracas, March 5th, 2021