Venezuela government boycotts dialogue with the opposition

In the United States and Colombia, businessman Alex Saab is wanted on charges of money laundering, among other things. His extradition to the United States now has domestic political consequences for Venezuela’s opposition.

The basics in brief

  • The Venezuelan government has cut off dialogue with the opposition for the time being after the extradition of a confidant of President Nicolas Maduro to the United States.

“In protest against the aggression, we will not participate in the round of negotiations scheduled for tomorrow,” said Jorge Rodriguez, head of the delegation. Shortly before, it became known that Alex Saab had been deported from the Cape Verde Islands to the United States.

The Colombian businessman was arrested there in June last year when his private plane had to refuel on its way to Iran. According to the Venezuelan government, he was on a humanitarian mission. Saab is said to have sold millions of dollars to the Venezuelan government for its controversial social program Clap.

In the United States and Colombia, Saab is wanted, among other things, for money laundering. According to US investigators, Saab must also have extensive information about the illegal actions of the Maduro family and high-ranking officials in Venezuela. Recently, the Venezuelan government appointed Saab as a delegate in negotiations with the opposition in Mexico.

Apparently, in response to Saab’s extradition, Venezuelan security forces have arrested six American oil managers, according to media reports. The so-called “Citgo 6” was only released from prison to house arrest a few months ago under the reluctance policy of the Entente.

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