Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Eduardo Snowden

My friend and Facebook neo-Con foil Adam was gloating that Eddie Snowden was cornered like a rat in a trap:
Countries that think they can harbor Snowden and get away with it just learned a valuable lesson. The USA and her European allies are united and will act to defend themselves from foreign interference. The walls are closing in on Snowden, soon Russia will be forced to expel the little rat and he will have no where to go except a federal prison in the good old US of A.

Ah, but I warned Adam not to count his whistleblowing chickens.

Then the diplomatic stop-and-frisk of Bolivian President Evo Morales took place.  "It was worse than a crime, it was a mistake," as said Monsieur Talleyrand.

Now Eduardo Snowden may evade capture because of the ire of LatAm Leftist leaders to Evo's undiplomatic treatment: Let’s say, as Bolivian President Evo Morales insists, that the U.S. did urge European officials to deny Morales their air space on his flight home from Moscow last week because fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden was rumored (falsely) to be onboard. If that’s true — and we may never know, since U.S. officials aren’t commenting — did the Obama Administration just make it easier for Snowden to win political asylum in Latin America?
Up until that July 2 incident, it wasn’t at all certain that the Latin American left, which includes Morales, would follow through on its threats to grant asylum to Snowden, who is wanted in the U.S. on espionage charges after he exposed secret NSA communications surveillance at home and abroad. Socialist Venezuela—which confirmed July 9 that it had received Snowden’s asylum request—and the rest of the region’s anti-U.S. bloc seemed to be waiting for a stronger pretext for giving Snowden refuge, and preferably their favorite kind of pretext, an act of U.S.-backed imperialismo. That’s exactly the gift that Spain, Portugal, France and Italy provided by forcing Morales’ plane to land in Vienna for inspection.
Suddenly, South America’s leftist presidents, whose hemispheric influence had been waning of late, found their mojo again. They rushed breathlessly to Bolivia to greet Morales, who shouted, “United we will defeat American imperialism!” while calling for the closure of the U.S. embassy there. By Friday evening, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, in need of a political boost after just barely winning a special April election to succeed his mentor, the late Hugo Chávez, formally offered the “young American” Snowden asylum from “persecution from the empire.” Bolivia said it too was willing to give refuge to the 30-year-old Snowden, who has been holed up in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport since June 23. Nicaragua said it would also consider it, as has Ecuador.
Bottom line: Snowden may well now elude U.S. authorities after he seemed to be cornered in Sheremetyevo’s transit lounge. “If the U.S. was involved in diverting Evo’s plane, it was a bit of old-style cold-war maneuvering that backfired,” says Ariel Armony, director of the University of Miami’s Center for Latin American Studies. “But even if it wasn’t [involved], the global perception is that those four European countries wouldn’t have decided to do this of their own volition. Either way, it puts the U.S. at risk of failing to get Snowden in the end.”

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