Reuters has suspended talks with Venezuelan government opponents

© Reuters File Photo: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro walks with a female mural in support of the release of Colombian businessman and ambassador Alex Saber, arrested in Cape Verde on charges of money laundering by the government, in Venezuela’s S. Caracas

Written by Myla Armas and Julio Rodriguez

Caracas / Praia (Reuters) – Venezuela said on Saturday it would suspend talks with opposition to resume this weekend after extraditing Colombian businessman Alex Sabke to the United States on money laundering charges in Cape Verde.

The announcement was made by Socialist Party MLA Jorge Rodriguez, who heads the government’s negotiating team. Rodriguez said the Venezuelan government would not take part in the talks, which began on Sunday.

The Venezuelan government named Saber in September – who was arrested in June 2020 when his plane stopped to refuel in Cape Verde – as a member of his negotiating team with the opposition in Mexico, where the two sides are trying to resolve their political crisis.

U.S. Justice Venezuela accused Sabke in 2019 of a bribery scheme to take advantage of state-controlled exchange rates. The United States has also accused him of organizing a corruption network that allows Saab and Maduro to benefit from state-run food subsidies.

“Because of this very serious move, our delegation has announced that it is suspending its participation in the talks and dialogue. As a result, we will not participate in the round of talks – which should begin tomorrow, October 17 in Mexico City. Deep protest against the investment of Alex Sub Moran, ”Rodriguez read from a statement.

Saber’s lawyers called the U.S. allegations “politically motivated.”

Cape Verde National Radio reported the extradition on Saturday. The government in Cape Verde was not immediately available for comment.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while the Venezuelan government said in a statement that his extradition was a kidnapping.

The Venezuelan opposition leadership did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a Twitter (NYSE 🙂 post, Colombian President Evan Duke called Saber’s extradition “a victory in the fight against drug trafficking, money laundering and corruption by the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro.”

Cape Verde Constitutional Court A long court ruled in September after a war that everyone should be extradited .

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