Free Alex Saab!

Protesters in Caracas demand release of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, February 2021.

For thousands of years human societies have protected diplomats from harm, even during wartime. That hasn’t stopped the U.S. capitalist government from trying to seize the Venezuelan envoy Alex Saab.

Sabb was Venezuela’s ambassador to the African Union when he was arrested in Cabo Verde on June 12, 2020. The African country seized Saab on the demand of the United States and has kept him in jail since then. The diplomat was traveling to Iran to help arrange food shipments for Venezuela when he was taken from his aircraft during a fuel stop.  

So what does that have to do with the United States? For 20 years the U.S. ruling class has been trying to overthrow the elected government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Wall Street wants to return Venezuela to the days when then-New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller had a 100,000 acre ranch there. The Rockefellers considered the oil-rich country to be their private property. 

Venezuela’s poor people meant as much to Rockefeller as the 33 Attica prisoners that he had his state troopers murder in 1971.

That changed in 1999 when the late Hugo Chávez was elected Venezuela’s president and the Bolivarian Revolution began. Poor and working people took back their country from Big Oil.

Over 3 million homes have been built. While over 20,000 children in New York City are homeless and 100,000 lack permanent housing, not a single child in Venezuela is homeless. 

Six million families were provided with food by Local Supply and Production Committees, which Alex Saab was trying to help. 

The response of both Republican and Democratic presidents has been to issue cruel sanctions on Venezuela, which strangled the country’s economy. These sanctions have cut Venezuela off from most of the world economy. 

The White House even had the Bank of England seize a billion dollars of gold belonging to Venezuela. The British capitalist government refused Venezuela’s plea to use some of the gold to pay for needed medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. claims its sanctions — which it also imposes on the rest of the world — were violated by Ambassador Saab, even though he never visited the United States. 

Cabo Verde is a country of islands off the west coast of Africa. It waged a liberation struggle along with other Portuguese colonies.

The U.S. supplied the Portuguese government, then a fascist regime, with napalm to burn Africans alive. Amilcar Cabral, who led the freedom struggle in both Cabo Verde and Guinea-Bissau, was assassinated with the CIA’s approval.

Now the CIA wants Ambassador Alex Saab to be turned over to the U.S. Alex Saab deserves freedom and Cabo Verde, and all Africans, deserve reparations.