The extradition to the United States of Alex Saab, the Colombian businessman designated as a financial operator of the Venezuelan government, has disarmed Chavismo. As a first response, the Executive of Nicolás Maduro announced this Saturday that they are rising from the negotiating table with the opposition in Mexico. A reaction that shows the enormous value that the figure of Saab has for Chavismo. In the United States, the businessman, detained in Cape Verde 16 months ago, will face a trial for alleged money laundering related to the Government of Venezuela.
Jorge Rodríguez, head of the Chavista delegation at the dialogue table that has been taking place in Mexico, with the mediation of the Government of Norway, has been the one who has announced the withdrawal. Rodríguez has assured that the extradition supposes “an unacceptable aggression that violates international legal principles and that contradicts the constructive spirit that must prevail in all political negotiations.”
Accompanied by the entire negotiating team of Nicolás Maduro in Mexico, he has warned that Venezuela will continue to use “all available means at its disposal” to do justice to Saab. “We blame the government of Iván Duque, the United States and the irrational sectors of the Venezuelan extreme right, such as Leopoldo López, Juan Guaidó, Carlos Paparoni for the end of the talks,” he said.
Chavismo’s angry response has been the last of an afternoon full of reactions after learning of the extradition. The civil and political sectors of the opposition have been the first to celebrate the news, where it has left a sense of justice.
In the government, on the other hand, they accuse the effects of a noble political coup, through which the United States can obtain privileged information on the cartography of Chavismo to evade international sanctions and on its money movements. The Executive has decided to disciplinedly close ranks around Saab, fighting tooth and nail to maintain its narrative, according to which the Colombian is a diplomat at the service of the Government of Venezuela, permanent representative at the dialogue table, unjustly kidnapped by the United States with the complicity of the Government of Cape Verde.
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“The Venezuelan Government repudiates this serious violation of Human Rights against a Venezuelan citizen invested as a diplomat and representative of our country to the world,” says an official statement issued after hearing the news.
From the opposition, Julio Borges, national coordinator of Primero Justicia, has declared from Bogotá that extradition “is a fundamental step that leads to justice and the truth in the face of looting, corruption and the organized crime network that today it supports and feeds the Maduro regime. ” Borges added that the extradition of Saab is also a call “to those who support and are accomplices of Maduro. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, but justice comes. It may be today or tomorrow, but it always comes. “
Congratulations and praise for Roberto Deniz, a Venezuelan journalist from the specialized investigation portal, have abounded in social networks. Armando.Info, who has published a series of reports in which he demonstrates, among other things, incorrect operations by Saab to acquire poor quality food that would be marketed in the Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP), one of Maduro’s assistance programs. Engaged in a strong campaign to defend and clean up Saab’s image, the government has been increasing pressure on Deniz, now in exile in Bogotá, with judicial accusations and threats to his family in Caracas.
The vice president of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, has also tried to deny all the accusations against the Colombian businessman: “Unlike those who promote the production and trafficking of drugs to sustain the Colombian State and its economy, Alex Saab is an innocent Venezuelan diplomat. , victim of kidnapping and violation of their Human Rights who has served our country against the immoral imperial blockade ”.
Chavismo has also taken another retaliatory measure against the United States with immediate effect. Alirio and José Zambramo, two of the five managers of Citgo, – the fuel trading subsidiary owned by the Government of Venezuela in the United States -, of Venezuelan and American nationality, were once again taken to prison under corruption charges. The United States has protested the measure and demanded his release.