The case of Alex Saab's arrest in Cape Verde could easily be put in the box of U.S. Government's blunders. Department of Justice's Attorneys and Drug Enforcement Administration's agents have been looking into Saab's activities for a very long time, in our view more than enough to build a water-tight case to put away this Colombian thug, his narco partner German Rubio, and his closest relatives / associates. But DoJ and DEA haven't. One of Saab's sons lived in America (on who's dime?) for years. Saab's money launderers operated in Florida for years. Saab's legal counsel would have a terrible time providing proof of legitimacy of funds received. It should've been like shooting fish in a barrel, alas it hasn’t. There he stays, in Cape Verde, as his hapless defence says "... in custody for more than 440 days...", and yet DoJ is still to be granted extradition request from effing kangaroo courts, and is filing motions for extensions. Fortunately, Judge Barbara Lagoa saw merits in granting a Motion for Extention in the case (USCA11 Case: 21-11083).
Just the other day, while conducting research on another matter, we revisited the video where Saab makes its first appearance in Venezuela. He wasn't a "diplomat" then. He wasn't even Venezuelan then. He sat, dressed in a cheap suit, on his own, like all other corrupt thugs vying for business with chavismo, waiting, just waiting to be called, to sign the first of many procurement contracts. That first deal was some $685 million to build housing units (which he never did). Almost half of which was laundered through U.S. banks. Back then, as stated, he was no Talleyrand but a wannabe bolichico, wringing his grubby hands at the prospects. Crucially, the set up of his very first procurement deal was already controlled by German Rubio under his assumed Alvaro Pulido Vargas identity, as this site revealed in our first investigation in 2013.
Narco senator Piedad Cordoba wasn't around either, and Saab's padrino (Nicolas Maduro) did not have the power he has today. Juan Manuel Santos' words in that conference were shrieking, and only as embarrassing and meaningless as those of Hugo Chavez. So no, Messieurs Baker & Hostetler, Saab is not "a diplomat of Venezuela", regardless of however much you'd like to substantiate your inane claims with "...Russia and Iran have publicly recognized Mr. Saab’s status as a Venezuelan diplomat..." Saab was elevated to diplomatic status post facto, therefore recognition from Russia and Iran just reveals how little adherence there is for due process and rule of law in those autocracies. Furthermore, can the imbeciles from Baker & Hostetler provide evidence in the form of exequaturs -either from Russia and / or Iran- related to Saab?
While Judge Lagoa has just ruled in their favour, it is indeed shocking to read that DoJ's Attorneys need more time to prepare their response. Prosecutors ought to continue pressing Baker & Hostetler for evidence that they are not employed / retained / directed by the Government of Venezuela. In same line of enquiry, demands ought to me made into origin of funds received, for every last dime Saab has is corruption proceeds, or worse, drug trafficking proceeds.
The fact that both the Trump and Biden administrations have had to wait this long to get Saab stateside speaks volumes about a) relevance Venezuela has in its foreign policy, b) the sheer deterioration of its soft power that a backwater of three semi deserted islands off the coast of Africa can delay indefinitely DoJ's criminal probes, and c) the absolute uselessness of the U.S. State Department. Given events in Afghanistan and regardless of late development in this case, we remain skeptic as to seeing Saab ever facing DoJ justice.