The extradition of Alex Saab, close to Maduro, to the United States arouses the ire of Venezuela

Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman close to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and accused of money laundering, was extradited on Saturday October 16 to the United States from Cape Verde where he had been arrested, reported to Agence France- Press (AFP) a source within its legal team. He “Is on the plane en route to the United States”.

The Venezuelan power did not take long to rule and “Suspended his participation” the dialogue with the opposition which was to continue on Sunday in Mexico City.

“We will not attend the [quatrième] round which was to begin tomorrow, October 17, in protest to the brutal aggression (…) against Alex Saab ”, according to the text read on television by the President of Parliament Jorge Rodriguez, head of the delegation of power.

This businessman and his partner Alvaro Pulido are accused in the United States of being at the head of a vast network which allowed the socialist leader Nicolas Maduro and his regime to divert food aid to their benefit. from Venezuela.

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Suspected of having transferred some 350 million dollars (about 302 million euros) from Venezuela to accounts they controlled in the United States and other countries, they risk up to 20 years in prison.

An extradition denounced by Venezuela

Alex Saab, who also has Venezuelan nationality and a Venezuelan diplomatic passport, was indicted in July 2019 in Miami for money laundering and arrested during a plane stopover in Cape Verde, off the coast of Africa. west, in June 2020.

Colombian President Ivan Duque confirmed that he had been extradited. “The extradition of Alex Saab is a victory in the fight against drug trafficking, money laundering and corruption that the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has fostered, a tweeted Duque. Colombia has supported and will continue to support the United States in the investigation into the transnational crime network led by Saab. “

Cape Verde last month agreed to extradite Alex Saab to the United States, despite protests from Venezuela.

Venezuela said on Saturday that Saab, whom he called his “Ambassador” because he was to be part of a government delegation for talks with the opposition, had been “Removed” by the United States.

The World with AFP