2 Years Since Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab Was Abducted for Defying U.S. Sanctions

Rally held in April in Venezuela demanding freedom for Alex Saab / credit: Kawsachun News
Rally held in April in Venezuela demanding freedom for Alex Saab / credit: Kawsachun News

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Kawsachun News.

JUNE 12, 2022—Today marks two years since the kidnapping of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Nain Saab, while on a humanitarian mission to Iran, his third mission to the country, to try to alleviate the effects of the U.S. economic warfare against Venezuela.

Saab, an accredited diplomat protected under the Vienna Convention, was abducted in Cape Verde without an arrest warrant or Interpol alert, and was taken to the United States in October of 2021. Cape Verdean authorities kept him arbitrarily imprisoned for 491 days without due process, in violation of the laws of Cape Verde, during which Saab experienced torture.

Venezuela's CLAP food program (Gloria La Riva/Liberation News) and Alex Saab (right, U.S. Dept. of Treasury)
Venezuela’s CLAP food program (credit: Gloria La Riva/Liberation News) and Alex Saab (right, credit: U.S. Department of Treasury)

In the book, A Sacred Oath, written by former Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Esper admits that the kidnapping was part of “soft” options to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro.

Esper also admits that Saab’s efforts, as a diplomat and businessman, were always aimed at making the situation of the Venezuelan population more bearable. “According to reports, under the direction of Maduro, Saab was on a special mission to negotiate a deal with Iran for Venezuela to receive more fuel, food and medical supplies . Saab was Maduro’s point man for a long time when it came to crafting economic deals and other transactions that kept the regime afloat.”

Meanwhile, the movement calling for the release of Alex Saab has gone international, and demands for his release were made at the counter-summits both in Los Angeles and Tijuana, during Biden’s Summit of the Americas.

Back in Venezuela, defense of Alex Saab is seen as not only the defense of an individual but as the defense of the sovereign actions of the Bolivarian government and people. The diplomat is also a member of the Venezuelan government delegation in the dialogue process which has taken place in Mexico.