HAVANA TIMES – The government in Venezuela criminalizes social activism. Union leaders and workers who raise their voices for their rights, or question corruption in state institutions, often face imprisonment. The government labels them traitors to the Revolution.
Meanwhile, President Nicolas Maduro prefers to publicly defend Alex Saab, a businessman who has been his front man in numerous oil, gold, construction and food businesses.
Maduro granted him diplomatic immunity, passing Saab off as an important leader of the revolution. He is also manipulating people in need, making them march in his defense in exchange for a bag of food to stave off pangs of hunger. It’s a way of showing the world that the “people” allegedly support his protege and partner.
However, on February 22, public prosecutors in the US refused to accept Saab’s diplomatic immunity under US law. The US seeks his extradition from Cabo Verde where he is currently being held.
Saab is a fugitive in the eyes of the US justice system. He faces charges there of being one of the Venezuelan government’s main money launderers.