|Tarek William Saab|
|President of the Republican Moral Council of Venezuela|
|Preceded by||Gabriela Ramírez|
22 December 2014
|Governor of Anzoátegui|
|Preceded by||David De Lima (MVR)|
|Succeeded by||Aristóbulo Istúriz (PSUV)|
|Member of the National Assembly|
30 July 2000 – 31 October 2004
|Member of the National Constituent Assembly|
10 September 1962 |
El Tigre, Anzoátegui, Venezuela
|Political party||Fifth Republic Movement (before 2007)
United Socialist Party (2007–2014)
|Profession||Politician, lawyer, author|
- This article is about the Venezuelan politician, see The Apprentice (U.S. season 5) for the Apprentice candidate Tarek Saab.
Tarek William Saab (born 10 September 1962) is a Venezuelan politician, lawyer and poet. He is a leader of the Fifth Republic Movement (MVR) party founded by Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela, who publicly called him "The Revolution's Poet". He was the Governor of Anzoátegui from 2004 to 2012, and a member of the Committee for Justice and Truth since 2013. In December 2014, he was elected "People's Defender", or Ombudsman, by the National Assembly for 2014-2021. Saab was appointed as President of the Republican Moral Council of Venezuela by the People's Power for 2015.
The son of Lebanese Arab immigrants, Saab was born in El Tigre, Anzoátegui, Venezuela. He studied criminal law at the Universidad Santa María and human rights law at the Universidad Central de Venezuela.
Saab was a member of the Constitutional Assembly that drafted in 1999 the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. In 2000, he was elected a member of the Venezuelan National Assembly.
During the coup d'état of April 2002, Saab was imprisoned by security forces after a crowd of coupists had gathered around Saab's home, threatening him and his family. He was held incommunicado for several hours.
While Saab was head of the foreign policy commission of Venezuela's National Assembly in 2002, he was refused an entry visa to the United States. Reuters reported that Saab told local television he had been denied the visa because a U.S. State Department report "identified him as 'an individual linked to international subversion'." According to Venezuela's El Universal, Saab gave a press conference, in which he referred to published information that he had been denied the visa as a consequence of his ties with international terrorist organizations. Saab denied that he was associated with international terrorism or subversive groups.
Governor of Anzoátegui
|Anzoátegui State Governor Election, 2004 Results
Source: CNE data
In 2005 Saab was accused by critics within his own party (MVR) of participating in electoral fraud in the primary elections for 2005 local elections. His predecessor as governor of Anzoátegui, David de Lima, accused Saab of using his position for political persecution, after Saab's wife accused De Lima of mismanagement.
Saab was elected to the post of ombudsman (Defensor del Pueblo) in 2014 by the parliament, for a term of 7 years, with opposition considering the election unlawful for procedural grounds despite the opinion of the Supreme Court. During the 2014-17 Venezuelan protests, Saab was criticized for allegedly siding with the government on human rights issues, with The Washington Post stating that he "is viewed as an apologist for the unpopular government of President Nicolás Maduro".
Following the deaths of student protesters during the 2017 Venezuelan protests, Saab's son Yibram Saab placed a video on YouTube explaining how he protested on the day that a 20 year-old protester "was killed through the terrible and inhumane use of teargas", exclaiming "That could've been me!" He finally pleaded to his father, "Dad, in this moment you have the power to end the injustice that has sunk this country. I ask you as your son and in the name of Venezuela, to whom you serve, that you reflect on the situation and do what you have to do". President Maduro's son, Nicolás Maduro Guerra, criticized Yibram, saying "You could have done something else with your 3 minutes of fame ... You could have picked up the phone and talked to your father ... Those who you’re marching with are using your love for your father to manipulate the country ... Always willing to talk and debate with you ... Say hi to your mom!"
Saab has written numerous publications, including Los ríos de la Ira (1987), El Hacha de los Santos (1992), Príncipe de Lluvia y Duelo (1992), Al Fatah (México, 1994), Angel Caído Angel (1998), Cielo a Media Asta (2003), Cuando Pasen las Carretas (2003), Poemas selectos (Colombia, 2005), Los niños del infortunio (Cuba, 2006. China, 2007), Memorias de Gulan Rubani (Caracas, 2007). Un paisaje boreal (Valencia, 2008. Caracas, 2009).
- Tarek Saab detained by security forces, state.gov; accessed 8 July 2015.
- Nacional y Política, eluniversal.com; accessed 8 July 2015.
- El Universal, "Chávez' MVR members report electoral fraud", eluniversal.com; 19 April 2005.
- Daily News, eluniversal.com, 10 October 2005.
- Daily News, eluniversal.com. 11 October 2005.
- El Tiempo - El Periódico del Pueblo Oriental, eltiempo.com.ve; accessed 7 July 2015.
- TSJ Regiones - Decisión, vargas.tsj.gov.ve, February 2005.
- Venezuelan Parliament Renews Public Powers, Opposition Issue Reversal Warning, venezuelanalysis.com; accessed 7 July 2015.
- "Venezuela crisis: Son criticises rights ombudsman father in video". BBC News. 27 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- Miroff, Nick (27 April 2017). "Analysis | A top Venezuelan official’s son makes video plea for his dad to ‘end the injustice’". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- "Venezuela crisis: Son of top Chavista official publically urges him to help stop bloodshed". Fox News. 27 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- Tarek William Saab profile, analitica.com; accessed 7 July 2015.
- Anzoátegui State Governor Election, 2004 Results, cne.gob.ve; accessed 7 July 2015.