“Do you want dialogue? Immediately release Álex Saab”: The forceful proposal of the president of the Venezuelan Parliament to the United States

The president of the National Assembly (AN) of Venezuela, Jorge Rodríguez, said on Wednesday that if the US government wishes to resume the dialogue between the Venezuelan authorities and the different opposition of the country, including the extremist referenced in Juan Guaidó must comply with a series of demands, starting with releasing the ambassador and plenipotentiary representative of Venezuela in Africa, Alex Saab.

During the installation session of the Venezuelan parliament for the legislative period 2022-2023, the head of the AN indicated that Washington and his subordinates must stop hypocrisy to call conversations and then sabotage them.

“Do you want dialogue? Enough of hypocrisy. Do you want dialogue? Immediately release Álex Saab,” said Rodríguez, who recalled that the diplomat is full member of the discussion tables that were carried out in Mexico and that were suspended after the US Department of Justice managed to extradite him in October 2021, after sponsoring his arrest in the African archipelago of Cape Verde in 2020 for alleged money laundering.

“Do not go into a dialogue and then sabotage it internally, to attack it internally as the Prime Minister of Norway did, as the US Department of Justice did, which committed the atrocity of kidnapping a diplomatic representative from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, our diplomat Álex Saab, “said the head of parliament.

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In addition to the release of Saab, Rodríguez mentioned other demands that the US and the opposition group led by Guaidó must meet to resume talks.

In principle, he said, the Guaidó faction must recognize that it made a “very serious mistake” by usurping state functions and admit that perpetrated crimes against the Republic, such as the theft of money from the State and the delivery of Venezuelan assets abroad, including the gold deposited in the Bank of England, the Monómeros company in Colombia and the Citgo oil refineries in the United States.

“A dialogue with impunity is doomed to failure”

The president of the AN added that for the dialogue to be fruitful, it must be rid of any hint of impunity.

A dialogue with impunity is doomed to failure“said Rodríguez, especially if there is no response from those responsible to the Venezuelan justice, as this would not allow the agreements to be crystallized in a lasting and lasting way.

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For this reason, for the dialogue to be positive, those who participate must arrive “clean of heart”, with respect, without double agendas and, above all, return what they stole.

Álex Saab was arrested in Cape Verde, in June 2020, when he was going to Iran on a diplomatic mission to acquire medicine and food for Venezuela. The official made a technical stop on the African island to refuel, but the authorities detained him despite his diplomatic status.

After the arrest, the defense of the ambassador denounced the fact as arbitrary and warned that he had been a victim of abuse, torture and violation of his human rights.

Venezuela has described Saab’s extradition to the US as a “kidnapping” that violates international and diplomatic law, and insists that his detention in Cape Verde was done “illegally”, without an arrest warrant, “violating the laws of the country and the Vienna Convention.”