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In using the micro-state of Cape Verde as a front in its ideological war against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the United States has taken its politically motivated judicial overreach to a new level. The entire playbook from the start has all the hallmarks of moves to which the world has become accustomed in the post-9/11 era.
Let us be frank, Cape Verde, the smallest country in the African continent, has neither the know-how nor political stomach to undertake the acts of both psychological and physical torture inflicted upon Alex Nain Saab Moran, the Venezuelan diplomat who was illegally arrested and then detained since 12 June 2020.
The dangling of a financial carrot with the explicit threat of the use of a political stick in the event of non-compliance is a scenario that Cape Verdean Prime Minister Ulisses Correia has swallowed. In poker parlance, Ulisses Correia is “all in” with no Plan B.
But who can blame Ulisses? His country has no natural resources to speak of, its main “official” export is its people (there are more Cape Verdeans living in the United States, for example than those living on the ten main islands of this micro-state) and whilst its elite tries desperately to present themselves as “not African”, the rest of Africa is happy to treat the archipelago as an expulsion from the body of Africa given that it lies well into the Atlantic Ocean and is the closest “African” landmass to South America.
There again, being so close to South America presents an opportunity and yes, the Cape Verdean elite has grasped it with both hands. Highly respected publications from the United Kingdom, such as “The Spectator” and “The Daily Telegraph” have reported in recent years on Cape Verde’s role as the newest stop on the “cocaine superhighway” that links South America to Europe. But don’t mention this in close proximity to the ears of the Cape Verdean political elite. They don’t like it. It spoils that “mutton dressed as lamb” look which can be so chic until you get up close and are hit by the stench of narco-corruption. But we are digressing.
The truth is that on 12 June 2020, Alex Saab, in his capacity as Special Envoy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was undertaking a humanitarian Special Mission when his plane made a refueling stop. Alex Saab had neither reason nor desire to get off his aircraft during the 45 minutes or so that it was going to take to taxi, refuel, pay, taxi, and take off. This was nothing more than a technical transit until Ulisses – like the boy in the playground with no friends, desperate to show that he too can be cool – decided to show Washington that he was worthy of its attention and affection by kidnapping Alex Saab. Like Golum in “Lord of the Rings”, Ulisses now had his “precious” and he wasn’t going to let go!
So let us be clear about one thing. Alex Saab is not detained; he is the victim of state-sponsored kidnapping. There is no other way to describe his situation. We now know from the evidence presented at the ECIOWAS Court of Justice that when the officer who arrested him, Natalino Correia, told Alex Saab that he had a Red Notice for his arrest, he lied. He flat-out lied. The fact that there was no Red Notice until much later was acknowledged by his subordinates who wrote the arrest report in the police records. Not surprisingly Natalino Correia (apparently no relative of the Kidnapper-in-Chief Ulisses) has kept a low profile since the ECOWAS Court ruling of 15
March. Not only has he failed to admit that when he boarded the plane, Alex Saab informed him that he was a diplomat and had the necessary documents to prove it, but he also knows that he showed Alex Saab neither a properly authorised Cape Verdean arrest warrant nor the Red Notice as he pushed him off the aircraft. Once Alex Saab, a lawfully appointed diplomat of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, was taken off the plane, it appears Correia and his subordinates were confused as to what to do next so, they made Saab purchase a visa so that he could enter Cape Verde! Kidnapper Correia (let’s be clear that what the ECOWAS Court ruling makes him) would never have dared to act as he did without the direct consent of Attorney General Ladim. Which means that Ladim also lied. He lied. The Minister of Internal Affairs also participated in the kidnapping and lied. There are even rumours that Cape Verde’s Head of National Security Carlos Reiss, who is a known frontman for US interests, played a central role in coordinating Alex Saab’s kidnapping on direct instructions from the DoJ.
This brings us back to Ulisses. None of these fine public servants would have taken any decision to kidnap Alex Saab without the approval of the Kidnapper-in-Chief. The truth is that as soon as Venezuela invoked Alex Saab’simmunity in the early hours of 13 June 2020, Ulisses in accordance with international law, should have ordered Saab’s release. Unfortunately for him, he did not which not only makes Ulisses a kidnapper, but it also makes him a co-conspirator of Rendition by Proxy and potential multimillion Euro lawsuits. There is no further trouble in store for Ulisses. Today, the Barlavento Court of Appeal rowed back on its own decision of January this year, when it (reluctantly) granted Alex Saab house arrest and ruled members of his immediate family could stay with him. This decision has a direct and devastating impact on Alex Saab’s sister, Katya, who flew from Colombia a week ago to mourn with him the tragic deaths of their mother and father who passed away on 20 and 29 April, respectively, after contracting COVID-19.
In what is clearly a coordinated action, the local police on the island of Sal has determined that this decision of the court means that no one other than Alex Saab’s local lawyers can visit him. This is a shameless act of premeditated psychological torture and is part of an agenda that is being set by Ulisses BFF’s. So, a man who was kidnapped under orders of the Cape Verdean Prime Minister, who was not able to attend the funerals of both his parents, who has not met with a family member for a year, who is a cancer patient and has repeatedly been denied access to the specialist medical care which is his fundamental human right and who has been repeatedly physically tortured is now being subjected to incredibly cruel psychological pain.
And what was his alleged crime? Supplying basic foodstuffs and medicines to his fellow countrymen at a time of a severe COVID epidemic.
Hang your head in shame Ulisses.