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Venezuelan President Maduro Says U.S. “Kidnapped” Diplomat Alex Saab

HeadlineOct 19, 2021

The Venezuelan government is denouncing the capture of Colombian businessman and Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab — a close ally of President Nicolás Maduro who was taken from the island nation of Cape Verde and flown to Miami over the weekend. Supporters say Saab was apprehended without any proper legal basis, as the U.S. has no extradition treaty with Cape Verde — an island some 400 miles off the northwestern coast of Africa. Saab was previously detained in Cape Verde for over a year after his private plane made a fuel stop en route to Iran, reportedly to buy humanitarian supplies. The U.N. Human Rights Committee had called for Saab’s extradition order to be suspended and said he’d been denied treatment for his cancer while jailed in Cape Verde. Saab appeared in a Miami court for the first time Monday, facing corruption charges.

In response, Venezuela’s government has halted negotiations with its opponents. This is Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. 

President Nicolás Maduro: “A plane arrived. Assassins, hitmen came down. They sought him out, and they removed him with blows from the jail he was held. They took him without advising lawyers, nor the family, nor anybody — a kidnapping by the United States government of an international diplomat.”

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