Maduro Frontman’s Letter in Cape Verde Reveals Ironies of Crony Regime
The letter from Nicolás Maduro's frontman entails a series of paradoxes, and Venezuelans don't know whether to laugh or cry
Spanish – The Prime Minister of Cape Verde, where Alex Saab is detained, responded sarcastically to the letter sent to him by Nicolas Maduro’s frontman- a letter where the Colombian businessman adopted a threatening tone and offered a gentle bribe.
Saab’s brazen letter merely demonstrated how sad the reality is for Venezuelans: He is a Colombian masquerading as a victim who earned a diplomatic passport by pandering to Maduro. Today, he condemns “unjust detention,” while the regime he defends has more than 300 political prisoners.
Cape Verde Prime Minister Ulisses Correia told the media that he “does not take note of this type of letter” or speak of an issue that is on trial.
People know the mailbox of the government palace. If you have letters, send them directly to the Prime Minister’s Office. I do not comment on any letters posted in the media.
Maduro’s frontman, who is linked to cases of money laundering, violation of international sanctions, drug trafficking, and terrorism, decided to write to Correia to question his arrest, which he described as “unjust.” However, he felt entitled to threaten and bribe the African government on behalf of Venezuela.
“It is hard for me to accept that, even after Venezuela has officially declared my diplomatic immunity, you have done nothing to rectify the situation. I do not doubt that your inaction will have legal and political consequences,” Saab, who is from Barranquilla, said threateningly.
He also offered a kind of bribe by saying that Venezuela could help Cape Verde more than the United States would.
But Alex Saab’s letter shows more than just desperation at the imminence of his extradition to American soil. The text entails a series of paradoxes, and Venezuelans don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
He claims “wrongful arrest”
Saab insists that he has been “illegally detained” awaiting “an unfounded and politically motivated extradition request from the United States.” However, Maduro’s frontman has an open trial in Miami for money laundering.
The irony of Saab’s complaint is that he defends and works for the Maduro regime, which holds 382 political prisoners behind bars. A tyranny that, unlike Cape Verde, violates human rights.
Most of those detained for political reasons have not yet had an open trial or been convicted. According to figures from the Venezuelan Penal Forum, 95% of political prisoners remain behind bars without any judicial process.
In the letter to the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Saab writes that he was “basically kidnapped” and subjected to “inhumane treatment” in the African country. He also appealed to the prime minister’s sensitivity by pointing out that “he has lost 20 kilos of weight.”
While Maduro’s frontman speaks of inhumane treatment, the regime he claims to represent tortures political prisoners to the point of killing them. At the same time that Saab is losing weight, in Venezuela, Erick Echegaray, who was illegally imprisoned in El Helicoide in Caracas, died of the coronavirus.
We must also remember Councilman Fernando Albán, who died at the hands of the authorities of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), after “falling” from the tenth floor, according to the version presented by the dictatorship.
For Saab, being detained is “inhumane treatment;” for Venezuelans, being in prison is a matter of life and death.
Diplomatic passport: a reward
But as if all this were not enough, in his letter Saab admitted that the diplomatic passport was obtained as a reward of sorts by the Maduro regime.
“Over the years, I have gained the trust of Venezuela because I have been a professional and have dealt with difficult payment conditions, caused by the blockades that Venezuela has faced,” he said. He noted that as payment for his “contribution” to the country, Maduro’s regime rewarded him with nationality and the position of a special envoy “with the diplomatic immunity and privileges that such a position entails,” to “negotiate with governments. Foreigners and private companies creating new channels to obtain and deliver the much-needed food, basic medicines, and spare parts necessary for the oil industry” in Venezuela.
While Saab claims that he received his nationality and diplomatic passport for “contributing” to Venezuela, millions of ordinary Venezuelans are waiting for their passports and other identification documents.
Millions work for the country, who contribute to the nation, yet, they cannot get their passports. In fact, the Venezuelan passport is one of the most expensive in the world, costing almost 200 USD.
But Saab, as a Colombian who helped Maduro evade sanctions and negotiate the country’s coffers, obtained a document that grants him immunity.
Bribery and threats on behalf of Venezuela
The last irony committed by Saab was his attempt to threaten and bribe Cape Verde on behalf of Venezuela as if he had that power: “I do not doubt that your inaction will have legal and political consequences… Venezuela will always treat you with greater respect and present you with more opportunities than the United States. As my country’s special envoy, I can help Cape Verde more than the United States will in 100 years,” he concludes.
Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserves, faces a unique humanitarian crisis in its history, the lowest salaries in the region, and shortages of food, medicine, and gasoline. But Saab says the regime can help Cape Verde more than the United States can.
It is also ironic how Saab has Venezuelan resources and shows how the Maduro regime is willing to pay anything to get its own benefits, regardless of the poor living conditions that Venezuelans face thanks to 21st-century-socialism.