Free Alex Saab!
Sign the petition urging Biden to drop the charges against Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab!
President Joseph Biden,
On June 12, 2020, Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab was arbitrarily detained and tortured in Cape Verde due to an extradition request made by the Department of Justice under the Trump administration. He is presently detained in a federal facility in Florida.
After more than 30 months of unprecedented unlawful detention, on December 23, 2022, District Judge of the Florida Southern District Court Robert N. Scola Jr. denied Alex Saab his entitlement to diplomatic immunity despite the compelling and unrebutted factual evidence that substantiates his status as a Special Envoy.
Alex Saab's detention in Cape Verde occurred without a warrant, with an Interpol red notice received only after his arrest. At the time, he was conducting a humanitarian Special Mission to procure urgently needed food, medicines, and medical equipment at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic for the Venezuelan people. The charges against Saab are rooted in Trump’s maximum pressure campaign to overthrow the Venezuelan government, particularly as it relates to U.S. sanctions that have caused suffering on a massive scale, which has been documented by former U.N. special rapporteur as well as world-renowned economics professor Jeffrey Sachs.
Furthermore, Saab is only able to receive legal visits, and no visits from family or friends. In violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Saab has not been allowed contact with officials from Venezuela. According to the National Lawyers Guild, the case against him has raised dangerous precedents of judicial abuse by the U.S. in the enforcement of policies by applying U.S. laws extraterritorially. These actions violate the sovereignty and trade relations of independent nations.
The December ruling is a clear example of a legal decision grounded not in the law but on political motivations. Ambassador Saab is being punished for establishing new commercial networks to secure the basic goods required for the wellbeing of the Venezuelan people in the context of a brutal economic war. The charges against him must be dropped and his diplomatic immunity respected.
CC: Secretary of State Antony Blinken
US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Roger Carstens