My husband was kidnapped, tortured, humiliated, wrongly accused and deprived of all his rights.
My name is Camilla Fabri and just over two years ago, my husband, the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, was illegally detained in Cape Verde. Then, exactly a year ago today, he was kidnapped and extradited to the United States, where he is languishing in a Miami jail. Our three small children saw their father leave for work one day and have not seen him return for more than two long, horrible years.
My husband was kidnapped, tortured, humiliated, wrongly accused and deprived of all his rights. l want to ask you to help us fight this injustice by telling the U.S. Department of Justice to free Alex Saab!
To summarize my husband’s case, the United States, in complicity with the government of Cape Verde, prevented him from fulfilling a special humanitarian mission.
For a long time, the United States has been setting its eyes on Venezuela, the country where my children are growing up, and in 2015, it declared Venezuela an Unusual and Extraordinary Threat. The idea was to bring Venezuelans to their knees by taking away their ability to purchase food and medicine. The idea was to impose hunger in every Venezuelan home to make people react explosively against the government and that way achieve regime change.
To deal with these unjust aggressions, the Venezuelan state appointed my husband, Alex Saab, as an accredited diplomat to represent Venezuela in special missions. And while my husband was leaving as a special envoy on a humanitarian mission to Iran to secure fuel, food and medicines to fight COVID-19, the United States was mocking and disregarding the sovereignty of Venezuela, as well as the Vienna Convention. Under the Vienna Convention and the U.S. Diplomatic Relations Act, a diplomat cannot be arrested by a foreign power. Therefore, my husband should have immunity and neither Cape Verde nor the U.S. should have the right to prosecute him.
Is it a crime to fulfill a diplomatic mission? How can evading sanctions that are harming an entire country be a crime? How can it be illegal to help people get food and medicine? Tell the U.S Department of Justice to free my husband, Alex Saab!
The U.S. government was not satisfied with just kidnapping my husband. Since the day he flew to Iran, we have been threatened, blackmailed and persecuted. We have been demonized in the media, and we have not been allowed to see him. My husband, a cancer survivor, hasn't been able to take his daily medicines. Since his arrest, he has lost 65 pounds. His parents died of COVID-19 while he was imprisoned in Cape Verde. Our youngest daughter doesn’t remember her father’s face. In one of the most outrageous aggressions to date, one of Alex's sons, who was just a teenager, was added to the OFAC sanctions list a month after turning 18 years old.
Today, I know that many women around the world—head of households, vigorous, courageous and loving women—are haunted by the same U.S. sanctions and aggression. But we are also united by our struggle to defend the truth, fight for justice and guarantee the well-being of our families–free from outside aggression. Let us continue, together, to fight for our rights and to win.
Free Alex Saab!
P.S. On Wednesday, October 19, I invite you to join CODEPINK to a screening and discussion of the documentary Alex Saab: a Kidnapped Diplomat. After the documentary, the Venezuelan Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs for North America Carlos Ron and I will be answering any questions you may have. RSVP here.