FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16th, 2023
Media Contact: Melissa Garriga | [email protected]
CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin Visits Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab in Miami Prison on Second Anniversary of His Unlawful Extradition
Miami, FL – Two years after the illegal extradition of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin visited Saab in the Federal Detention Center in Miami to show support and call for his release.
Saab, acting as a special envoy for Venezuela, was detained without a warrant while refueling his plane in Cape Verde on June 12, 2020. He was on a mission to Iran to negotiate fuel and humanitarian supplies at the time of his arrest. On October 16, 2021, he was extradited to the United States. Saab's extradition violated both international law and the principles of diplomatic immunity, causing widespread outrage among human rights advocates and international legal experts.
“Alex Saab has been criminalized for challenging US economic sanctions on Venezuela, which are causing untold suffering for the Venezuelan people,” said Benjamin upon leaving the Federal Prison where Saab has been held for the past two years. “ His real ‘crime’ was trying to obtain humanitarian supplies through legal international trade but circumventing the illegal US sanctions on Venezuela. His arbitrary detention is a gross violation of international law, and a dangerous precedent for all who dare to challenge illegal US economic sanctions that serve as a form of collective punishment against civilian populations.”
Benjamin’s group, CODEPINK, calls on Washington to drop the charges against Alex Saab, respect his diplomatic status, free him from detention and lift the sanctions on Venezuela.