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Snowden Offered Asylum By Venezuelan President 380

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the zombie-hugo-chavez-wants-american-brains dept.
First time accepted submitter aBaldrich writes "Edward Snowden was offered 'humanitarian asylum' by Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela. The country's official news agency reports (original Spanish, Google translation) that the decision was taken after a meeting of the presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. Maduro denounced an attempt to 'colonize' several European countries, and that he is acting 'on behalf of the dignity of the Americas.'" The Guardian confirms.
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Snowden Offered Asylum By Venezuelan President

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 06, 2013 @07:52AM (#44202491)

    He doesn't want to take a boat...... too easy for the boat to be boarded in international water....

    With a plane, you can attempt to force it to land with threats of shooting it down, but there is less chance that the US would actually shot down a plan killing him than of them boarding a vessel in international waters to take him.

  • by mbone (558574) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @08:12AM (#44202577)

    I think that Evo Morales, the Bolivian President, was the "designated drunk" in this case. My guess is that Morales didn't know anything and that someone is playing a deep game, leaking misinformation (about Snowden being on Morales's plane) to the CIA so that the CIA could destroy its credibility and cause a diplomatic debacle by asking Spain [] (and others) to stop the flight.

    You can bet that the next South American leader flying out of Moscow will not have their plane stopped. That is so convenient for certain parties that I have to feel that it was not accidental.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @08:19AM (#44202621)

    The kind of disruptive left-wing revolution you imagine, like conservative government as well, tends to increase corruption in government.

    So, by definition, when the American finally get tired of the corruption in government, they'll start voting for people who stand for lower taxes and less government powers. It's already starting to happen at the state level.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @08:30AM (#44202667)

    Don't bet on it. If Russia decides it seriously wants to help, then they'll never even know he's left until he's in Venezuela. As of *right now*, nobody has seen Snowden since he got to Moscow. In fact, nobody has seen him in Moscow at all. Russia claims he's holed up in Sheremetyevo Airport, but nobody has seen him there. Nobody saw him get off the flight from Hong Kong. Is he still in Moscow? Was he ever in Moscow at all? I wouldn't take bets.

  • Nice try, asshole (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 06, 2013 @08:39AM (#44202715)

    The reality is that Chavez did more for social conditions in his country than any other president in living memory. USA hated him viciously because of his oil-based power in OPEC, plus his aversion to letting them control the destiny of Venezuela and from there the rest of latinamerica. And that's pretty much it.

    You're pretty transparent.

  • by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @08:53AM (#44202811)
    Better still why don't the Russians simply get him a UN passport [] [] and convey diplomatic immunity on him (Its been done before, although, not in such a high profile case). That way any attempt to interfere with him en-route is technically an act of war. But then again they've already done that with the president of Columbia's diplomatic flight so why aren't the UN already spanking America?
  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @09:23AM (#44202985)
    I've come to the conclusion that Putin and Obama have reached some kind of deal. Putin is getting something he wants in exchange for agreeing to neither overtly help Snowden to get to another country nor requiring that Russia hand him over directly to US authorities. I have believed for years that George W. Bush botched the relationship between the US and Russia by being unable to understand the concept of quid pro quo. See, Bush believed that people should just do the right thing because it was right, not because they were going to get anything in return. This is a big part of why Poland, Bulgaria and Ukraine quickly jumped in to provide troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They thought they were going to get visa free US travel in exchange. They pulled out when they realized that Bush was literally incapable of understanding that he owed them something in return. Putin somehow got burned by this too, although I have no idea what he wanted, and he has not forgotten it. Russia isn't going to provide any travel docs to Snowden, offer him asylum in Russia or hand him over to the USA. Venezuela won't send a ship because it fears that the US would just board it or maybe even sink it in international waters. My guess is that Venezuela will offer him a travel document that the Russians will accept, at which point they'll casually mention to their American friends "Oh by the way, Snowden is on flight XXX bound for Venezuela. Here's the flight path." and the US may plan an interception over international waters once it leaves European airspace. The Russians will then claim publicly that they are shocked, yes shocked, at this violation of international air space, which provides the plausible deniability they need.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @09:42AM (#44203073)

    It was a test to see how they would react if they want to get Snowden to safety. Leak false information and see if the plane would get into trouble.

    I to have to wonder if Snowden pulled a counter-intel move, knowing that the NSA was listening in on some conversations and deliberately fed them misinformation to provoke a reaction.

    Whether Snowden simply pulled their chain or they are so bumbling incompetent that with their $50B/year budget the NSA can't figure out if a guy has boarded a plane in the Moscow airport - it sure makes them look massively incompetent.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @09:52AM (#44203125)

    He doesn't want to take a boat...... too easy for the boat to be boarded in international water....

    With a plane, you can attempt to force it to land with threats of shooting it down, but there is less chance that the US would actually shot down a plan killing him than of them boarding a vessel in international waters to take him.

    Maybe Russia ought to send him to the International Space Station. That would really poke at the USA and there's nothing the USA can do about it since we've failed to maintain our space program so it's not like they can send the CIA after him, and the 3 Russian crewmembers can keep him safe during his stay. Then after he leaves the ISS, they can just have the Soyuz touch down in Venezuela.

    It would actually be kind of amusing to see the USA's reaction to Snowden sitting aboard the ISS, releasing a new classified document each day.

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @09:56AM (#44203151) Homepage Journal

    I think that Bolivia's presidential plane falls into the definition of diplomatic immunity. And even with that, they had no problem in stopping it and even trying to have a search on it. They are just past of the point of caring about it, in fact threating both Russia and China about his delivery, immediately after he said that US was very aggresively spying on all of them (as in i.e. hacking their own phone networks []) shows that the little they care about treaties and the consequences of their acts, just order and wait till they are done.

    Forget Snowden, is a symtom of a pretty big and urgent problem. Next 5 years (no matter what happens with him) will be bad for a good portion of the world.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @10:36AM (#44203327)
    The United States has shot down one of these [] before. While not exactly a "jumbo" jet, these things hold several hundred people.

    It was an Iranian jet.. how quickly we forget.
  • by Espectr0 (577637) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @10:52AM (#44203395) Journal

    It IS a piece of shit country, literally, you can't find toiler paper, sugar, coffee, cooking oil, powder milk and lots of basic items, prices were up 5% in just a month, and that's government numbers, no production means almost everything is imported, no access to $USD means companies going bankrupt. And don't get me started on crime, kidnappings and civil liberties.

    Source: i live here!

  • Re:Nice try, asshole (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Artemis3 (85734) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @02:49PM (#44204675)

    "Health care is the same or worse than it was 15 years ago"

    Only in the private sector, not in the Cuban-Venezuelan program "Barrio Adentro", simply the best medical attention can be obtained there for free. This mission was made to bypass the unwillingness of Venezuelan medics to aid the poor, but it ended surpassing the most expensive clinics, so much even wealthy people end going there, especially after the private medicine dries them dry and they have sold their last property trying to stay in a private clinic.

    The fixed exchange was a direct result of the opposition sabotage to the economy in 2003. While I'm not personally in favor, it is true that if the opposition behaved back then, we wouldn't have it today. So i blame them entirely for it. The only way out now is the Sucre, our future regional coin.

    You cannot choose a worse timing to talk about corruption, when right now very high officials are being detained for this. Maduro is clearly showing a no corruption policy, within his limited powers. He is, after all, the executive, not the judiciary branch, which is were most of the corruption still exists.

    But yes i know, you are so used to repeat like a parrot the lies you and the opposition invented so many times, it's pointless to show you facts, as you'd rather cover your eyes instead than facing truths.

    So what if they visit other countries? President Chavez brought up international relations with the world like no other leader did for Venezuela in history. So what if the US relations went down? Instead, relations with the entire world went up. The way USA behaves towards us made that an obvious outcome, if any country tries to be friends with another, it will lower their relation with USA. The USA doesn't like you trading with others, period.

    So President Chavez brought up the nearly non existent relations with neighboring countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, with giant powers such as China and Russia, the Arab bloc, several Asian countries, etc.

    The USA brought their relations down on their own. So they decided to ban weapons sales?, what are we supposed to do, let our army equipment go rust? Of course we went to the international market, and the best is from Russia, hence the Russian equipment; and the deals were even better, with technology transfer included.

    Aww, the Americans don't like us dealing with Russians?, well that's too bad, so be it. It's not like we didn't try to keep those old F-16s still operating, but there comes a point when you have to replace them as getting parts from a third source becomes prohibiting, what with the US threatening everyone from selling their military technology to us. So yes, Sukhois it is, and MIs and AKs and whatever our Russian and Chinese friends provide that Americans don't want to, to keep our forces operational.

    And so what if Iran provide us technology for Milk processing? or tractor technology from Belarus? It was the US gov who blocked the trades, it's not like we didn't try. We barely managed to buy American (floating) power plants thanks to our Citgo company.

    Just like Cuba, how many Americans do you think tried to make business deals with us blocked by their own gov.? Cuba is not rich, and still they traded something they had in abundance: Medicine and health care for a bit of oil. That was one heck of deal, compared to prices of private medicine, is like we are ripping them off. But their solidarity prevails, and we provide a very needed resource so we are both happy. That is what international relations are about, not becoming lapdogs of the USA.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @04:57PM (#44205549)

    The US did not stop or search the plane. The countries denying airspace also admitted the US did not request any such action. If the US really wanted this guy what makes anyone think Venezuela or Bolivia can stop a military snatch and grab? The US certainly had no qualms about going into Pakistan to get what they wanted and Pakistan has nuclear weapons and a sizable army backed up by armed militants spread across the country just looking to kill an American. If Snowden returned to the US he would have a very public trial where his guilt would be assessed. He cannot be disappeared. He would have an opportunity to go before a jury and make his case. If his actions and intentions are so admirable it should be no problem getting the jury to find him not guilty. However, if he keeps releasing information about US foreign intelligence operations that have nothing to do with capturing data of US citizens he will be seen and treated as a traitor to his country. He is undoing any good that he may have achieved with outing the US domestic spying programs. Those looking to put his head on a spike would bolster their arguments and criticisms.

    If he is the one releasing that data. According to his own claims and the original NSA reports, he didn't have data on foreign intelligence operations. So, could the release of foreign intelligence operations be a misdirect keep him from being seen as a hero to the american public? It wouldn't be the first time the government tried to disgrace somebody with misinformation, nor would it be the last (assuming it that it is actually happening).

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl