Trump and Saab: Tensions between Venezuela and the U.S. continue

There is tension between the United States and Venezuela due to the arrest of Alex Naím Saab, a powerful Colombian businessman accused of helping the Venezuelan regime raise a fortune in corruption money.

United States President Donald Trump

After Saab's arrest, tension increases between the governments of the two countries. / Photo: Reuters

LatinAmerican Post | Juan Manuel Londoño

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Added to this is the unstable position of President Trump towards Maduro. This Monday morning, the US president retracted having said that he would consider meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart. In a tweet, he clarified that the only way he would meet with him would be to discuss "his peaceful exit from power." He also assured that his government will always be against socialism and with the people of Venezuela.

According to the Associated Press, the former National Security Adviser of the United States, John Bolton, assures in his "revealing" book that the American president has doubted his support for Guaidó. In the book, Bolton acknowledged that Trump thought Maduro was "too powerful" to be overthrown by Guaidó.

Another concern is the arrest of Alex Saab, who would serve as a figurehead for the Maduro regime. Saab was captured in Cape Verde on June 12, and the possibility of his being extradited to the United States for crimes of money laundering and corruption is discussed.

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The United States Treasury Department assures that: "Since at least 2019 the illegitimate Maduro regime has collaborated with Alex Nain Saab and Leal to evade US sanctions, and help in the sale of Venezuelan crude. One of Saab's recent plans and Loyal to sell this oil was hidden as an "oil for food" program, an initiative that never resulted in the delivery of food to Venezuela. "

The Leal in this statement refers to Joaquin Leal Jimenez, a Mexican citizen along with whom Saab, using front organizations, carried out his plan to evade US sanctions.

For its part, the Maduro regime has tried everything in its power to avoid Saab's extradition to the United States, because if it were to speak, it could "shake" this government, according to the magazine Semana. Through a statement, they requested that Saab be considered an agent of the Venezuelan government, which would grant him diplomatic immunity. In this, they argued that Saab was in Cape Verde to get medical materials to help Venezuela with the coronavirus crisis. Additionally, the businessman's lawyers in the African country resorted to habeas corpus to seek his freedom.