World Day for the Freedom of Alex Saab, a Space for Denunciation

Article and Photos by Yaimi Ravelo on October 18, 2023 from Havana

Two years after the arbitrary detention of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab by the United States, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry celebrated worldwide the day of denunciation “With the freedom of Alex Saab, let’s give peace a chance”.

In Havana the event was attended Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Cuba, its consulate and diplomatic personnel attended the event on October 16 at the Casa del Alba.

Orlando Miguel Maneiro Gaspar, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela considered this world day for the liberation of his compatriot as an international space for the denunciation of all kinds of injustices.

In this sense, he characterized the detention of Alex Saab as a kidnapping, which constitutes “a violation of international law, of human rights -by the United States and its allies-, ignoring the existence of the concepts of Nation-State, Government, population and territory”.

Standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

In addition the Venezuelan ambassador also denounced the horrendous pounding by the Zionist Israeli military against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

Gaspar affirmed that the Venezuelan government considers that this has come about because ” there has been the impossibility of the Palestinian people to find in the multilateral international legality a space to assert their historical rights”.

“That is why we as the Bolivarian government advocate for the prompt solution to the critical situation of hostility and confrontation and an end to violence throughout the Palestinian territory, and compliance with Security Council Resolution 2334 – of the UN – which demands Israel to immediately and completely end all settlement and occupation activities in the Palestinian territory, as the only way to achieve peace.”

At the same time, he stressed that the slogan of this day for the release of Alex Saab is a call for peace, “a chance for peace”, he said, taking into account the case as a breach of the Vienna Convention for diplomatic relations between nations.

This is the second year that the political prisoner is languishing in prison in the U.S. after being detained in Cape Verde and then kidnapped by the US.

The denouncing panel for this day was formed by the moderator Ziomara Lucena, Counselor of the Bolivarian Embassy of Venezuela in Cuba; Argentine journalist and activist Graciela Ramirez Cruz, Coordinator of the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity, head of the Cuba bureau of Resumen Latinoamericano; and Dr. Pavel Aleman, from the Center for International Policy Research.

Dr. Pavel Aleman and Graciela Ramirez

In her speech Ramirez condemned “the injustice and arbitrariness of the kidnapping, transfer and detention of Alex Saab, and the violations of the right to family visits, consular assistance and access to his lawyers”.

He said that he does not find parallels between Alex Saab’s case and those of the Cuban 5, Julian Assange, Mumbai Abu Jamal or Milagro Sala in Argentina, “because each political prisoner is a case in itself”.

In many ways the case of Alex Saab is the worst with denial of the right to family visits, consular assistance and access to lawyers; all that has been violated. And like in all cases of political prisoners the experience indicates a great legal and political battle. Saab has been detained for two years, he has serious health problems, and the U.S. prison system has created a calculated dehumanization where Saab like others has become just a number. The United States does not care about truth or justice, but it must be appealed to in order to comply with due process. The venue of the case is Florida; the worst place to try a Venezuelan political prisoner because of all the hatred that nestles there against the Bolivarian Revolution. Saab is of Lebanese descent, born in Colombia with Venezuelan citizenship, whose wife is Italian. There is a lot of work to do to raise awareness and knock on as many doors as necessary.”

“The country that holds him captive, the United States, is the worst country on the planet – he said – since it does not even recognize political prisoners as such, its detention system is as perverse as its justice system, plagued by political bias. In the case of Venezuela, this is evidenced by the cruelty of the economic sanctions, the media campaign, and the permanent action to undermine the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro.

Ramirez explained how the United States and its satellites have imposed 26,162 sanctions against 30 countries, the Cuban people who suffer the blockade and the Venezuelan people who suffer the exactly what this means on a daily basis. US sanctions affect 28% of the world population and 72% of the territory of the planet. These figures were published by Misión Verdad, and were given by the President of the National Assembly, Jorge Rodríguez, during his speech at the Russia-Latin America International Parliamentary Conference, in Moscow.

In his speech, Dr. Pavel Alemán agreed with Graciela Ramírez regarding the need to denounce and demand the release of the Venezuelan diplomat, not only at specific events, but every day and in all possible instances.

The Cuban analyst also referred to the violations against Saab and the policy of extreme hostility of the United States towards Venezuela and Cuba, and its evident complicity with Israel’s genocide in Palestine.

Several videos of the Venezuelan people demanding solidarity and denouncing Saab’s detention were shown during the course of the afternoon. Along with a heartfelt message from his wife Camila Fabri and a song specially dedicated by Israel Rojas of Buena Fe.

Alex Saab was appointed Special Envoy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on April 9, 2018, to insure the safe arrival of basic foodstuffs, medicines and gasoline to the Homeland of Bolivar to face the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the US.

Source: Cuba en Resumen