Cape Verde Residents Disapprove Arrest, Treatment Of Alex Saab By Authorities
NEWS DIGEST – A significant majority of Cape Verde residents have expressed their disapproval of the arrest, continued detention and treatment of a Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab, by the Ulisses Correia e Silva led government.
Saab was arrested and detained in Cape Verde based on the request of the Donald Trump led United States government over allegations of money laundering, a move the Venezuelan government faulted with claims that the businessman is its special envoy on a humanitarian mission.
The Venezuelan government claimed that before his arrest, Saab had been on a mission to get food and medical supplies in Iran, stopping over in Cape Verde where he was arrested by security operatives.
There have been several legal battles between Venezuela, Saab’s lawyer and the Cape Verdean government over the detention of the diplomat.
However, in a recent survey carried out in February to gauge the approval of the government’s management of diplomatic crisis by Cape Verde residents, 79% of citizens stated that the Government acted badly in the Alex Saab Case due to pressure from the USA.
The study was carried out in three cities where the issue has a major impact, Praia, the country’s capital and largest population centre, followed by S. Vicente and Santa Catarina. All three Municipalities represent more than 70% of National Deputies.
Respectively, 78.5%, 64.9% and 66.3% of respondents in S. Vicente, Praia and Santa Catarina think that the Government was wrong to accept the request for detention or extradition made by the United States of America politically.
The disapproval rates from respondents were higher when asked whether the Government should have kept Alex Saab in prison after learning that he was an emissary from a foreign country with diplomatic immunity. For S. Vicente, Praia and Santa Catarina these disapproval rates are 79.6%, 70.7% and 68.6%, respectively.
Critical concerns were also raised about the way the Government became involved in the problem. A vast majority of respondents think that Cape Verde should not have been involved in the issue or should not have authorized the process of the extradition request in the first place. 85.9%, 74.4% and 74.5% took this stand in the three municipalities, respectively.
As for the reasons for the decision of the Government of Cape Verde, most people believe that it was due to political pressure from the United States or fear of reprisals, which in practice can mean almost the same thing. That is, 58.2%, 73.1% and 78.5% respectively in S. Vicente, Praia and Santa Catarina. A small percentage of people believe that there has been a bribe or because the Government of Cape Verde is against the regime in Venezuela.
Similarly, 63.8%, 68.3% and 76.1% of respondents criticized the Government of Cape Verde for failing to respect and comply with the decisions of the ECOWAS Court. In relation to the fact of Alex Saab being prevented from being seen by a specialist doctor, the degree of disapproval of people is even greater, at around 90%. In S. Vicente, Praia and Santa Catarina, this negative opinion reached 90.5%, 87.9% and 91.8%, respectively.
Regarding the decision by the Supreme Court of Justice of Cape Verde, most people think that Alex Saab should be released, in percentages of 49.5%, 62% and 74% respectively in S. Vicente, Praia and Santa Catarina.
Recall that the Independent and Democratic Cape Verdean Union (UCID), an opposition party, recently blamed the Jorge Carlos Fonseca led government for dragging the country into an international conflict with Venezuelan over Alex Saab’s continued detention.
The party described the country’s interest in the case as “obscure” and prayed the government to allow the institutions of justice function without internal or external political pressure.
The opposition party also haggle and warned the government on the implication of non adherence to international law, including multilateral and bilateral agreements.
“ Cape Verde needs to pay attention to obscure diplomatic maneuvers, pressures of any kind or truculent and unreasonable promises”, calling on the country to “apply the laws of the Republic with respect for international law, including multilateral and bilateral agreements ”of which it is a part.