Russia slams US hypocrisy in abuse of Venezuela diplomat


Former Venezuelan envoy to Cape Verde, Alex Saab

from AHMED MOOLA in Praia, Cape Verde
PRAIA, (CAJ News) RUSSIA has denounced the double standards by the United States, which is behind illegal plans to extradite from Cape Verde a special envoy of Venezuela.

Alex Saab, the envoy, has been detained in Cape Verde since June 2020 after authorities in the island country followed improper legal process to satisfy a US extradition request.

Despite possessing a diplomatic passport, he was detained during the technical landing of his plane in Cape Verde. His arrest also came as the envoy was fulfilling his mission to receive assistance in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).

The American government has previously accused the diplomat of being a front man for Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro.

Nikolai Lakhonin, Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, slammed the actions by the Washington administration.

“This once again highlights the double standards of Washington, which tirelessly criticizes the Government of N. Maduro for ‘the suffering of the Venezuelan people’,” Lakhonin stated.

He said the practice of seizing citizens of other countries, including the Russian Federation, in third countries on fabricated charges by US law enforcement agencies, had become the infamous “business card” of the US.

“Now Washington seems to have decided to ‘go to a new level’, setting a harmful precedent for the extradition of an authorized person with diplomatic status,” Lakhonin stated.

“We strongly condemn these actions, the politicized background of which is beyond doubt,” he added.

“We consider unacceptable attempts to apply US law extraterritorially, including to settle political accounts with ‘undesirable’ governments through repression against their official representatives.”

Russia warned plans by US authorities to extradite a third-country diplomat may have a negative impact on international relations.

“…and (they) may have a boomerang effect for any country, including the United States itself, as well as other states involved in dangerous games with international law,” Lakhonin cautioned.

This week, Saab’s lawyers filed complaints against Cape Verdean Attorney General Jose Landim, Regional Attorney Natalino Correia, and Judicial Police inspectors Domingos de Pino and Mauricio Monteiro, who intervened in the arrest of the diplomat.

“The Supreme Court of Cape Verde has declared that Alex Saab is free. It has now said on several occasions that because he is under house arrest then he is not ‘in prison,” said Dr Jose Manuel Pinto Monteiro, of Saab’s legal team.

“My colleagues, along with many rational-thinking Cape Verdeans, have been puzzled by this description for some time,” Monteiro added.

The defense has called upon the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union and the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn the conduct by Cape Verde.

– CAJ News







scroll to top