A break for Snowden?

Both Venezuela and Nicaragua have made offers of asylum to Edward Snowden.

[Venezuelan president Nicolas] Maduro said Venezuela was ready to offer him sanctuary, and that the details Snowden had revealed of a US spy program had exposed the nefarious schemes of the US “empire”.

“He has told the truth, in the spirit of rebellion, about the US spying on the whole world,” Maduro said.

Meanwhile Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega said “We are an open country, respectful of the right of asylum, and it’s clear that if circumstances permit, we would gladly receive Snowden and give him asylum in Nicaragua.”

It is interesting that the news item refers to Nicaragua as a ‘one time cold war adversary of the United States’. That is hardly the case, implying as it does that Nicaragua was hostile to the US. The reality is that Nicaragua (after Ortega became president for the first time after overthrowing the dictator Anastasio Somoza) was the victim of a vicious attack by the Contras, a group of murderous thugs completely supported with arms and money by the US who attacked schools, hospitals, and any other programs by the Sandinista government aimed at uplifting the conditions of the poor.

So will the US again try and get their allies/client states again engage in air piracy in order to block the airspace if Snowden attempts to get there?


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Ortega has since been tamed into neoliberal conformity, with plenty of help from the Catholic Church and his own weaknesses.

    Snowden would be a fool to trust him or his administration.

  2. Chiroptera says

    And Venezuea is a democracy. It isn’t too difficult to imagine a near future administration that decides it’s in its own best interest to make a deal with the US.

    On the other hand, that’s probably true of any other country right now, so Venezuela is probably Snowden’s best bet. I always wondered why Snowden went to Hong Kong instead of directly to Venezuela.

  3. CaitieCat says

    Maybe there just aren’t any flights direct from HI to VZ? I looked at the great circle route, it crosses Mexico and nicks the edge of Baja California, but not quite the US proper. Still, were I him, I’m not sure I’d have taken the chance either.

  4. Brian E says

    I’ve been reading Chomsky’s ‘how the world works’ and so much rings true. The war waged by the US against its citizens. Of course, that’s nothing compared to the destruction wrought in Latin America and indochina to stop good example appearing in US vassal states that might lead to these states no longer providing whatever the US wants.

  5. Nick Gotts says

    Unless I’ve missed something coming out recently, Snowden’s flight to Hong Kong came before any of his revelations, and the US authorities had no idea what was coming. If that’s so, he could have traveled to anywhere in the world. But if so, his choice of Hong Kong is a bit of a puzzle; he’s cited its high regard for free speech, but I don’t know where he got that idea: despite its autonomy, HK is part of the Peoples’ Republic of China. Unsurprisingly, China did not want to complicate its relationship with the USA by harboring Snowden, although it wouldn’t give him up. I’d have gone to Ecuador, as it’s already sheltering Assange in its London embassy. Snowden reportedly voted for Ron Paul, so the leftist image of Ecuador’s President may have put him off. But the truth is, there’s nowhere he will be really safe: any state giving him refuge will have the option to trade him for something of value to them.

  6. slc1 says

    As I stated on the previous thread, it looks like Cuba is Snowden’s best bet although I certainly wouldn’t trust Raul Castro who, it he was offered a deal by Obama to turn over Snowden in exchange for lifting the embargo, would probably take it in a heartbeat. Let’s not forget that brother Fidel announced that any prisoners escaping from Guantanamo would be recaptured and returned.

  7. Chiroptera says

    CaitieCat’s reply makes sense to me. If I had been in Snowden’s shoes, I’d probably felt pretty paranoid.

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