More support is coming the way of the detained Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab as Boston School Bus Drivers Union, a powerful labour group in the United State, has joined an endless list of international organisations demanding his by the Cape Verde government.
The union threw its weight behind the demand for the immediate release of Saab during a membership meeting on May 26.
“Arresting and holding a diplomat for any reason is a violation of international law,” the union said in a statement to announce the decision, noting that Saab was on a humanitarian mission to Iran at the time of his seizure to arrange emergency shipments of food, medicine, and essential supplies for Venezuela, a country currently facing hunger and extreme shortages based on U.S. sanctions.
The union then called on US President Joe Biden to drop the demand for Alex Saab’s extradition to the United States because the “kidnap of a diplomat is clearly a violation of international law.”
Members also called on Cape Verde’s Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva and President, Jorge Carlos Fonseca to release Saab immediately to Venezuela on humanitarian grounds to receive
The call, which was made just two days after Fonseca claimed that his nation was ready to strengthen democracy and the rule of law as a core value of its desire to forge greater regional integration, is a major embarrassment to the President and Prime Minister.
The union, which is a division of the powerful United Steel Workers’ Union, also argued that Venezuela faces illegal sanctions at the hands of the United States in a manner
similar to that faced by 15 African nations who are all members of the African Union and as such could prove to be a unifying factor in creating a coalition of nations facing the hegemony of the United States through sanctions.
Reacting to the action of the union, Nigerian-based human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, says it is an indication that there are increasing fissures in the established world order and Cape Verde must not be permitted to add to the destruction of long-established diplomatic norms.
“Further to my two recent letters to President Biden, I once again call upon him to show leadership in being first amongst equals when it comes to respecting international law and pulling back from the use of lawfare – the use of judicial processes for to achieve political objectives,” he added.
Saab’s arrest, during a stopover on his way to Iran in June last year, was based on the request of the Donald Trump-led United States administration 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.
Saab’s detention has attracted international attention over multiple allegations of external pressures. The legal tussle in the case has been prolonged for a long period.