By Nadeska Noriega.
Many concert-goers told El Pitazo they do not know who Saab is, but they went to the activity organized by their employers from Salva Foods 2015.
Salva and Saab get linked to the US-sanctioned CLAP subsidized food scheme. But while Salva is still in operation, Saab has been sitting in a Cape Verde jail cell since June 2020 on two US-issued Interpol warrants for money laundering. The US college professor and money laundering expert Bruce Bagley, who visited Venezuela and then was convicted himself of money laundering, mentioned Saab during his trial.
Workers got transported in public-transport buses from the Vargas state government to the place of the show.
After the event, a bag of food -one of those distributed by the Local Supply and Production Committees, CLAP- with four kilos of rice, four kilos of pasta, a can of sardines, and four packages of corn flour, as well as the promise of meat and chicken and a peace agreement between employers and employees: to respect labor stability.
The retribution for “the support and loyalty with the company” got confirmed with concert attendees who shared the information with El Pitazo.
Do you know who Alex Saab is? one of the young employees was asked after returning from the concert, walking around in the company of others, who wore the same white T-shirt, with the face of Saab and the hashtag #FreeAlexSaab.
The response was not long in coming. “He is a dude, friends with the bosses. They are doing things to get him released.” The rest of the public in the concert did not know anything about Saab, neither.
“The truth is that I do not know who Alex Saab is, and I do not care. If I do not have a job, I do not eat. So, I do my part, and the Colombians do their part, pay us, and give us the bonuses. More than the bag of food, which is a solution, it is stability that ties you down. Here, there is no law. If you get fired, that is all because they do not respect whatever the Labor Inspectorate says,” said another of the concert attendees.
In previous years, the connection between Salva Food and Alex Saab got denied by company spokespersons. However, after his arrest in June 2020 in Cape Verde, he was recognized as a representative of the Maduro government, linked to the Clap program.
According to the records, Salva Foods 2015 C. A. is a company with Colombian capital owned by Carlos Lizcano. Likewise, Lizcano has a firm registered in China, Group Grand Limited, which is related to Alvaro Pulido and Alex Saab, who benefited from millionaire contracts by low-quality food importation.
Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho.