06/04/2023 mintpressnews.com  3min 🇬🇧 #226709

Alex Saab: The Venezuelan Diplomat Kidnapped by the United States with Alex Saurez

 Lee Camp

The U.S. is now kidnapping foreign diplomats. That is what happened to businessman Alex Saab in 2020. Saab was on a diplomatic mission for the government of Venezuela, traveling back from an official meeting with Iran, discussing economic cooperation between the two nations.

The Trump administration grounded Saab's plane in Cabo Verde off the west coast of Africa and hauled him off the plane, supposedly on charges of corruption.

This week, Lee Camp interviews an expert on the extraordinary rendition of the Venezuelan diplomat. Alex Suarez is an activist and author of "The Diplomat," a book that explores Saab's case in detail.

Suarez told Camp today.

He's stuck there for over a year, and actually, the U.N. looked into it, and the African Union also did an investigation. He was tortured,... physical torture by U.S. agents.... He was beaten to the point where he lost teeth. This is a man who's a cancer survivor in remission."

He was extradited to the U.S. in October 2021 and is currently being held in Florida. Last December, a judge denied him diplomatic immunity on a conspiracy to commit money laundering charge that could result in a 20-year sentence. All this despite possessing an official diplomatic passport and being on official Venezuelan government business when he was kidnapped.

Saab's story is rarely covered by the corporate press, even by those looking for every excuse to attack the Trump administration for breaking norms. In 2021, MintPress flew out to Venezuela to  interview Saab's wife, Camila, and to bring his case to an international audience.

The U.S. State Department's decades-long war on Venezuela has used sanctions, coups, and color revolutions to try and take down the Venezuelan government since Hugo Chavez won power in 1999. A United Nations special rapporteur who visited the country  estimated that U.S. aggression has caused the deaths of at least 100,000 Venezuelans. Saab, in his own way, is another victim of this constant attack.

In 2010, he was appointed as a special envoy by the Venezuelan government to negotiate trade agreements with other countries. He played a key role in developing economic ties between Venezuela and countries such as Turkey, Iran, and Russia. He also led efforts to import food and medicine into Venezuela during the nation's U.S.-imposed economic crisis - a key reason he was targeted.

Now he awaits the judgment of an empire that denies his diplomatic status because it has refused to recognize the elected Venezuelan government.

Suarez and Camp also discuss the Venezuelan Embassy Defenders who protected the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C., from an opposition mob in 2019 after the U.S. backed a legislative coup in Venezuela.

"I was one of the embassy protectors working on the outside to try to bring food and supplies and talk to our comrades that were inhabiting that embassy," says Suarez. He published another book explaining the incident where U.S. citizens looked after the embassy for two months, protecting the diplomatic building from far-right attacks on Venezuelan sovereignty.

"I consider it a victory, by the way, because that building remained vacant; the puppet regime of the White House was never able to be installed in that building," Suarez told Camp.

The theme in these stories is the U.S. Empire's complete disregard for international law in its campaign to try and destroy Venezuela.

Watch Alex Saab: The Venezuelan Diplomat Kidnapped By The USAlex Saab: The Venezuelan Diplomat Kidnapped By The US now.

Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and activist. Camp is the host of Behind The Headlines' new series: The Most Censored News With Lee Camp. He is a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post and has been a touring stand-up comic for 20 years.