Mariam was three years old, Charlotte five months old. For both girls, their father's face is faded from memory. On the other hand, Camilla Fabri, Alex Saab's wife and mother of these girls, is a victim of a Western culture that judges a woman by her physical beauty rather than her abilities as a human being.
The Saab Fabri family nucleus was chopped to pieces by an oppressive machine fully aware of its intent, but not of the results: they gave Alex Saab millions of sisters and brothers.
Alex Saab has been in illegal captivity for two years, and from day one, he has been subjected to the worst violations of an individual's dignity. Classical torture, which seeks the annihilation of the mind through physical harm, was multiplied by what some call white torture, as if such a thing existed.
As of the date of this text, Alex Saab has been imprisoned for 730 days by US imperialism, whose sole intention is to execute its revenge against an individual who embodies the Venezuelan people. Such incarnation is not an abstract fact, Alex Saab is a diplomatic official of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, from the UN to the prosecutors who accuse him know that.
Hunger as a weapon
It is estimated that between 2016 and 2019, 40,000 Venezuelans died as a result of the blockade and "sanctions" of the United States government against Venezuela. Sanctions in inverted commas because they are unilateral, arbitrary and extortive coercive measures against a sovereign nation accused of thinking differently and raising the banner of its original dignity.
That calculation is not that of the party that governs Venezuela, nor of a funded NGO, it is a study by US economists which states, moreover, that since the self-proclamation of Juan Guaidó, orchestrated in the White House during the Trump administration, the submission of the Venezuelan people through hunger and death was a mission of immediate fulfilment.
Ocumo, yams, cassava. Every carbohydrate the earth could provide was used to satiate a planned hunger. Courtyards and rooftops turned into vegetable gardens, creativity had to be forced to reach the caloric load of millions of people, but thousands did not succeed.
With the hypocritical nationalism that characterises them, Venezuelan businessmen were beating their chests, blaming President Nicolás Maduro for a crisis without precedent in our history.
Complex problems, complex solutions
Who but Venezuelan mothers and grandmothers knew the consequences of these political decisions? It is one thing to meet in the Oval Office of the White House to decide for the lives of millions of people; it is quite another to feed growing children with spaghetti water.
Alex Saab is blamed for stopping this passive massacre in the form of economic warfare, but President Nicolás Maduro's intuition did not fail. Even with internal violence, assassination attempts and mercenaries entering the republic through irregular channels, he knew how to hold the head of state and saw in Alex Saab a man with managerial, commercial and persuasive skills to bring in food and medicine from allied countries.
Why would a man with two young daughters take such a risk? Because his mission was risk-free: appointed as a Special Envoy he acquires diplomatic immunity and is travelling on a humanitarian mission. In what world is that a risk?
In a world as imagined in the White House.
The man with the world's largest family
Two long years have passed since his kidnapping in Cape Verde. Today, however, Alex Saab has more sisters and brothers than anyone else in the world.
He has a family in every person who feels dignified, free and sovereign. Alex Saab has family in the unsubmissive peoples who will raise their voices as many times as it takes. Every decision of his defence lawyers is supported by the lives saved, by the plates filled with food, by the pills of medicine taken at the right time.
Venezuela respects itself and Alex Saab is saying it from his cell, the place where every night he tries to rest imagining the innocent gaze of his little girls and the loving kiss of his partner.
Text by T. Bunke