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The United States government has announced the expansion of its embassy in Cape Verde with about $400 million amidst request for extradition of the Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab.
This move many observers suspect to be a direct move to influence the outcome of legal proceedings in the push to extradite Alex Saab,
During the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the new US diplomatic complex, US ambassador to Cape Verde, Jeff Daigle, said it would result into a direct injection of about $100 million into the Cape Verde economy.
However, the timing of the project’s takeoff has raised suspicion in the global community as it was made just a few days before the Cape Verde Constitutional Court is expected to decide on Saab’s appeal against his extradition to the United States.
The move also contradicts a recent claim by the United States government that the extradition process of the embattled Venezuelan diplomat should be “free from political interference”.
A closer look at the economic status of Cape Verde raises further questions about the project. With a GDP of less than US$2 billion, observers have questioned how realistic a $400 million project, representing 20% of the GDP, is.
Some argued that rather than allowing the construction of a defecto spy station, Cape Verde should ask for a $100 million grant for vocational education training and building of and funding of a technical university.
Saab was arrested and detained in Cape Verde based on the request of the Donald Trump led United States government during a stop over on his way to Iran over allegations of money laundering.
This is a move the Venezuelan government faulted with claims that the businessman is its special envoy on a humanitarian mission.
The Venezuelan government claimed that before his arrest, Saab had been on a mission to get food and medical supplies in Iran, stopping over in Cape Verde where he was arrested by security operatives.
The failure of Cape Verdean authorities to obey the ruling of the ECOWAS court by extraditing Saab to the US is not the first contempt for court order by the authorities since his detention last year.
Saab was denied access to any member of his defense team despite three court rulings granting him the right to do so