Venezuelan envoy facing trial in US proclaims innocence
Caracas, Oct 17 (EFE).- A Colombian businessman retained by Venezuela to help get around the crippling economic sanctions imposed on the oil-rich Andean nation by the United States will not cooperate with the US prosecutors preparing to put him on trial for money laundering, his wife said here Sunday.
Camila Fabri appeared before reporters in Caracas to read from a letter written by husband before his extradition to the US from Cape Verde on Saturday.
“I have not committed any offense in the United States or in any country and I have no notion of lying to favor the United States against the country that is suffering an inhumane blockade,” she said, reciting from the text.
Saab, was traveling on a Venezuelan diplomatic passport when authorities in Cape Verde detained him in June 2020 at the request of Washington.
Ignoring Venezuela’s protests over the violation of diplomatic immunity, Cape Verde kept Saab behind bars for months and ultimately handed him over to the US.
“I will face the trial with complete dignity and invoking my diplomatic immunity as a servant of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” Saab wrote to his wife.
Besides the US and Cape Verde governments, he blamed his “abduction” on Washington-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who proclaimed himself the country’s provisional president in 2019.
Fabri blasted the Cape Verde government for refusing to let her see her husband during his confinement.
“What most bothers the United States is that my husband will never bow to them,” she said. “He has the strength of truth and innocence.”
The government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reacted to the news of Saab’s extradition by suspending talks with the opposition that had been under way in Mexico since August. EFE ba/dr