Alex Saab case in U.S. global extortion

Free Alex Saab

Sep 9, 2022

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Last Thursday, September 8, the forum "Unilateral coercive measures as a form of global extortion, the case of diplomat Alex Saab" was jointly organized by the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity; the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Simon Bolivar Institute and the Free Alex Saab Movement.

Among the participants in this forum were Camilla Fabri Saab, wife of the Venezuelan diplomat and leader of the Free Alex Saab Movement, and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Carlos Faría, whose interventions generated debate and actions to be taken to continue the struggle.

"The kidnapping of diplomat Alex Saab is part of an extortive policy that is imposed from various spaces and is multiform, so it is necessary to raise awareness that it is a violation of the Vienna Convention and the Charter of Human Rights," said Camilla Fabri Saab.

Likewise, Fabri Saab affirmed that "reconciliation is inevitable; this warlike and extortive behavior of the United States must end because it is to their own detriment. I am demanding the immediate release of my husband Alex Saab and demanding an end to this policy of extortion. We hope that millions of people will see what their countries are doing," she said.

The spokeswoman of the Free Alex Saab Movement emphasized how this policy worked in the case of the Venezuelan diplomat. "It is a perfect circle: they start with the hegemonic media, demonizing the person without evidence, continue with the FinCEN (Financial Crime Control Network) alert, then the persecution by extension to all family members and ends with the seizure of assets and officials."

Chronicle of extortion

Fabri Saab gave an account of the mechanisms used by the U.S. government to extort and threaten Venezuela by means of unilateral coercive measures (UCM), wrongly called "sanctions".

As explained by the diplomat's wife, "on July 25, 2019, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Alex one year after he was appointed Special Envoy; it is an extortion agency that bases its 'sanctions' on press articles and these sanctions are illegal measures that violate all international rights," she said.

"The 'sanctions' are a political exhortation and do not need to be permanent; they are intended to change behavior (...) they are a clear coercion: they force you to change your behavior and that is a crime because they are doing it in the form of a threat," Fabri Saab emphasized.

Feeding is a crime

The spokeswoman also referred to the alert issued in 2017 by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) against the food distribution program through the Local Supply and Production Committees (Clap), in which Ambassador Alex Saab played a leading role.

"FinCEN issued a worldwide alert on Venezuelan Government transactions arguing anti-corruption reasons. This alert is directly linked to OFAC. President Nicolás Maduro created the Clap program in order to provide subsidized food rations and to them it seems a crime for the president to give food through the Clap," he said.

Along these lines, the Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Faría, recalled that the cause of Alex Saab's kidnapping was the defense of the Venezuelan people's right to food: "he took that step forward to help avoid those enormous difficulties that Venezuela was going through. We thank him enormously for his courage in helping the Venezuelan people to overcome the difficult situation we were going through during those years", he said.

"Our people have not lent themselves to be guided in the wrong way by these policies (sanctions) and have been able to maintain their firmness, their political and ideological clarity to defend their government," said Venezuelan Foreign Minister Carlos Faría on Thursday.

During his speech, the Chancellor pointed out that "after living these years of implementation of these measures, the world sees how the Venezuelan people and our President Nicolás Maduro have responded in the face of this economic war, that despite what was expected, we are witnessing a totally different situation: we are living a second year of economic recovery".

The Venezuelan diplomat reiterated that the more than 700 unilateral coercive measures (MCU) that weigh on Venezuela are "an aggression never before experienced in the history of the republic, due to the cruelty of creating unrest, to directly affect our population so that it could in turn direct its discontent towards the government of Nicolas Maduro".

Serious precedent

Faría stated that the kidnapping of Ambassador Alex Saab represents a serious precedent that can be reversed "against the countries that at this moment do not manifest their rejection against these measures that are applied openly. The United States (U.S.) intends to carry out its role as 'ruler of the world' and use measures without consideration".

In this sense, he urged Venezuelan diplomatic missions "in other countries to raise the flags of this struggle: for our fellow diplomat Alex Saab, for the Emtrasur plane and for the Iranian brothers kidnapped in Argentina".

William Castillo, vice-minister of Anti-blockade Policies of the Ministry of Finance and president of the National Observatory of Unilateral Coercive Measures, emphasized that the so-called "sanctions" against Venezuela have an extortive character and "fall on people's homes, kitchens, health centers, shipments that bring us medical supplies", he condemned.

"These are facts that appear to be legal but that fulfill an objective, they seek to generate suffering and pain and the food sector was key. We have to generate suffering to produce a change in the behavior of the sanctioned State," he said.

In Castillo's words, the MCU's ultimate goal is "a change of model, they want to uproot the model of the 1999 Constitution, because Venezuela must be 'reset', erase its memory so that it can start from zero", he said.


The executive secretary of the National Human Rights Council, Larry Devoe, made it clear that the term "sanctions" seeks to legitimize aggression against Venezuela, because it implies a "penalty" for inflicting a norm, and "none of the countries has legitimate authority to impose sanctions on the Venezuelan people".

Devoe insisted that these are coercive measures, which imply "pressure on individuals, entities, groups, so that they may internally influence the State, so that this change of policy may take place. The blockade, the financial siege is part of the foreign policy of the US and the European Union (EU), they openly claim it as foreign policy", he pointed out.

"When they kidnap Alex Saab, they are sending a message: anyone who decides to carry out operations or help Venezuela to overcome the blockade may be subject to sanctions. Alex Saab is a proof of the overkill, of the intention to harm a State that was being subjected to the consequences of its political decisions", he concluded.





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