Chavismo embraces Alex Saab like a martyr | International

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Camila Fabbri, wife of businessman Alex Saab, during a rally in Caracas in favor of the alleged front man of Maduro, this Sunday.MIGUEL GUTIÉRREZ (EFE)

The extradition of Alex Saab to the United States, from Cape Verde, and the opening of his judicial case, has led the Maduro government to harden the discourse in his defense. The fear of what the Colombian businessman, considered the great Chavismo business operator in recent years and the presumed front man of the president of Venezuela, may tell the judge before the judge, has made Chavismo embrace Saab as a martyr and increase its threats about the possible consequences of extradition. The first reaction was to get up from the negotiating table with the opposition in Mexico.

In a disciplined and uniform manner, the media, politicians, journalists and analysts linked to the Government of Nicolás Maduro paraded this Monday through the state-run Venezolana de Televisión and other related international networks, such as Telesur. The slogan is to fight in favor of the official discourse, according to which Saab is a diplomat from the country, a member of the negotiating team with the opposition in Mexico, who has been kidnapped. Accusations of corruption against the businessman are completely ignored.

The Government insists that “the kidnapping” of Saab “violates the principles of international law”, in a chapter that constitutes “a new aggression by the North American empire against the Bolivarian Revolution”. Nicolás Maduro himself referred to him this Monday on television: “Alex Saab has been tortured, due process has been violated, he was held incommunicado and was run over in Cape Verde.”

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Nicolás Maduro during a television presentation, this Monday in Caracas (Venezuela).MIRAFLORES PRESS / VIDEO: REUTERS

“I don’t know what will happen to the dialogue in Mexico, honestly. We will evaluate it later. For now, we are outraged, protesting and facing injustice. They kidnapped a good, innocent man, a clean and hardworking man, a man who what he has done has been to love the people of Venezuela. The gasoline we have to face the blockade has been obtained by Alex Saab, food for the popular sectors, medicines, “added Maduro.

The president also assured that it was him [Maduro] who promoted the beginning of negotiations with the opposition in Mexico: “I have made more than a thousand calls for dialogue. But playing fair, respecting ”. Thus, he explained that what happened to the Colombian businessman was “a stab in the back” and called the spokesman for the US State Department, Ned Price, an “idiot”. “We have warned Washington that we would take forceful measures if they carried out the kidnapping of Saab,” he threatened.

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Where these threats go is anyone’s guess, like everything that surrounds this case. The Venezuelan government does not have much scope for action. The precarious situation of the country, in a serious economic and social crisis, forces it to take steps to try to alleviate the pressure of the sanctions imposed by the United States, which it intended through dialogue in Mexico. On the other hand, Saab is already imprisoned in an American jail and his judicial process is underway, so there is nothing to predict that he can be stopped.

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On Sunday, a handful of Chavista militants gathered in Plaza Bolívar, in the center of the city, to offer support to Saab, in a ceremony in which Camila Fabri, of Italian origin and Saab’s wife, was present. “On behalf of my children and myself, Camila Saab, I want to report today a second kidnapping of my husband, Alex Saab, with the complicity of the Government of Cape Verde, which he carried out with the United States yesterday. This happened cowardly behind the back of the lawyers and we, we found out from his sister, “he said with broken tears. “What bothers America the most is that Alex Saab will never give in. Just as he is kidnapped, so is my family ”, he concluded.

Saab himself sent a message to those present, read by Fabri, in which he says that he will face the trial “with total dignity” and makes it clear that he has nothing to collaborate with the United States because he has not committed “any crime.” The United States considers that the businessman is the head of a corruption network that Chavismo wove through shell companies in numerous countries, masked under social programs, to bypass the international sanctions imposed against Venezuela. The first accusation he faces is for the alleged laundering of more than $ 350 million.

On Monday, on his Twitter account, Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Industries and National Production, responded in this way to the signals and celebrations of the opposition in the face of this core blow to the revolutionary government: “I insist. Seeing the social networks of the opponents overflow with hatred, celebrating the misfortune of others, only keeps the right wing from power forever. They will never understand the codes of solidarity, humanity and empathy of the Venezuelan people ”.

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Chavismo is willing to fight for Saab from Caracas while in a South Florida jail the businessman has to make another decision. Whether or not he collaborates with the United States and pulls the thread that unravels the skein of the shady businesses of Chavismo. If you speak up, you could reap huge legal benefits, which could save you from spending several decades in jail if convicted.

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