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Day 1: #FreeAlexSaab International Delegation Denied Access In Cape Verde

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On their first day in Cape Verde, the first emergency human rights delegation to Cape Verde working to secure the release of embattled Venezuelan ambassador, Alex Saab and prevent his extradition to the United States, were denied access to him. 

The team met with Venezuelan Ambassador, Alejandro Correa Ortega, who was the first person to gain access from the Cape Verdean authorities to see Saab, but attempts to meet with the country’s police chief proved futile as they were met by heavily armed guards. 

“We suspect that our delegation was allowed to enter Cabo Verde because we have US passports. Certainly, our presence is known, as local TV and radio media have sought us out and interviewed us today,” a member of the delegation was quoted saying. 

The humanitarian committee led by famous Cape Verde religious leader, Bishop Felipe Teixeira, is part of an ongoing international solidarity campaign to secure the release of Saab and prevent his extradition to the United States. 

Also on the delegation is foremost Cape Verde politician, Pericles Tavares; Human rights activists, Sara Flounders of International Action Center and Roger Harris of Task Force on the Americas.

Earlier, the committee had launched
an international petition calling on US President Joe Biden, Cape Verdean
Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva, and  President Jorge Carlos Fonseca
to release Saab and put a stop on the illegal extradition process.

The petition has been signed by thousands, including former UN special rapporteur on human rights, Alfred de Zayas; Peace activist, Medea Benjamin; Intellectual, Noam Chomsky; Senior peace organizer, Al Marde; Historian and journalist, Vijay Prashad and Max Blumenthal. 

Others are: Joe Lombardo of United National
Antiwar Coalition; Jesús Rodríguez-Espinoza of Orinoco Tribune; Paul Liem of the Korean Policy Institute; Ajamu Baraka of the Black Alliance for Peace, among other renowned attorneys in the US, Canada, and Venezuela 

Saab’s arrest, during a stop over on his way to Iran in June last year, was based on the request of the Donald Trump led United States government over allegations of money laundering, 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.

Saab’s detention has attracted international attention over multiple allegations of external pressures. The legal tussle in the case has been prolonged for a long period

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