Tarek William Saab

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Tarek William Saab
Tarek William Saab 3.jpg
Prosecutor General of Venezuela
Assumed office
5 August 2017
Preceded byLuisa Ortega Díaz
President of the Republican Moral Council of Venezuela
Assumed office
Preceded byGabriela Ramírez
In office
22 December 2014 – 5 August 2017
Preceded byGabriela Ramírez
Succeeded byAlfredo Ruiz
Governor of Anzoátegui
In office
Preceded byDavid De Lima (MVR)
Succeeded byAristóbulo Istúriz (PSUV)
Member of the National Assembly
In office
30 July 2000 – 31 October 2004
Member of the National Constituent Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born (1962-09-10) 10 September 1962 (age 56)
El Tigre, Anzoátegui, Venezuela
Political partyFifth Republic Movement (MVR) (before 2007)
United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) (2007–2014)
Independent (2014–present)
ProfessionPolitician, 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 (Spanish pronunciation: [taˈɾek wiˈʎjam ˈsa:β]; 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 term. Saab was appointed as President of the Republican Moral Council of Venezuela by the People's Power in 2015. On 5 August 2017, he was appointed as Prosecutor General of Venezuela by the National Constitutional Assembly in substitution of Luisa Ortega Diaz.[1]


The son of Syrian 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.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed]

During the coup d'état of April 2002, Saab was imprisoned by security forces after a crowd of protesters had gathered around Saab's home, threatening him and his family. He was held incommunicado for several hours.[2]

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 said he been denied the visa because of alleged ties with international terrorist organizations, which he denied any association with.[3]

Governor of Anzoátegui[edit]

Anzoátegui State Governor Election, 2004 Results
Source: CNE data
Candidates Votes %
Tarek W. Saab 187209 57%
Antonio Barreto 138120 42%

Saab was elected Governor of Anzoátegui in the 2004 regional elections, and re-elected in 2008.

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.[4] His predecessor as governor of Anzoátegui, David de Lima, accused Saab of using his position for political persecution,[5][6] after Saab's wife accused De Lima of mismanagement.[7][8]


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.[9] During the 2014–2017 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".[10][11]

Prosecutor General[edit]

Saab was appointed Prosecutor General on 5 August 2017 by the National Constituent Assembly[1] after former Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Díaz was removed from office by the Bolivarian government for allegedly being part of the "counterrevolution".[12] This occurred months after Saab stated himself that he had "no gut, no encouragement, no willingness to be Attorney General" and that he wanted to be Prosecutor "not yesterday, not today, not tomorrow".[13]


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 tear gas", 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!"[10][11][14]


United States[edit]

On 26 July 2017, Saab was involved in targeted sanctions performed by the United States Department of Treasury due to his involvement with the 2017 Venezuelan Constitutional Assembly election and granting impunity to human rights violations performed by authorities in Venezuela.[15]


On 22 September 2017, Canada sanctioned Saab due to rupture of Venezuela's constitutional order.[16][17]


On 28 March 2018, Saab was sanctioned due to "human rights violations and the deterioration of the rule of law and democratic institutions", freezing their funds and banning them from entering Switzerland.[18][19]


On 29 March 2018, Saab was sanctioned by the Panamanian government for his alleged involvement with "money laundering, financing of terrorism and financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction".[20]


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).[21]


  1. ^ a b https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKBN1AL0BG?il=0
  2. ^ Tarek Saab detained by security forces, state.gov; accessed 8 July 2015.
  3. ^ Nacional y Política, eluniversal.com; accessed 8 July 2015.
  4. ^ El Universal, "Chávez' MVR members report electoral fraud", eluniversal.com; 19 April 2005.
  5. ^ Daily News, eluniversal.com, 10 October 2005.
  6. ^ Daily News, eluniversal.com. 11 October 2005.
  7. ^ El Tiempo - El Periódico del Pueblo Oriental, eltiempo.com.ve; accessed 7 July 2015.
  8. ^ TSJ Regiones - Decisión Archived 2012-02-24 at the Wayback Machine., vargas.tsj.gov.ve, February 2005.
  9. ^ Venezuelan Parliament Renews Public Powers, Opposition Issue Reversal Warning, venezuelanalysis.com; accessed 7 July 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Venezuela crisis: Son criticises rights ombudsman father in video". BBC News. 27 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  11. ^ a b 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.
  12. ^ "Diosdado asegura que Fiscal General fue removida por ser un apéndice de la "contrarrevolución"". La Patilla (in Spanish). 7 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  13. ^ "El día en que Tarek William Saab dijo que jamás sería fiscal general (Video)". La Patilla (in Spanish). 7 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Venezuela crisis: Son of top Chavista official publically [sic] urges him to help stop bloodshed". Fox News. 27 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Venezuela-related Designations". United States Department of Treasury. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Venezuela sanctions". Government of Canada. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  17. ^ "Canada sanctions 40 Venezuelans with links to political, economic crisis". The Globe and Mail. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  18. ^ "Swiss impose sanctions on seven senior Venezuelan officials". Reuters. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Estos son los funcionarios chavistas que sancionó el gobierno de Suiza". El Nacional (in Spanish). 28 March 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Estos son los 55 "rojitos" que Panamá puso en la mira por fondos dudosos | El Cooperante". El Cooperante (in Spanish). 2018-03-29. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  21. ^ Tarek William Saab profile, analitica.com; accessed 7 July 2015.

External links[edit]