Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro is ready to accept Edward Snowden, even if Ecuador's Rafael Correa isn't

Guadalajara -
It appears increasingly likely that ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden will have no problem getting into some South American country - if he can just get out of Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, that is.

In remarks attributed to Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, the Voice of Russia (VOR) today reported that the Bolivarian Republic is ready to receive Snowden, even if nearby Ecuador ultimately decides not to.

"That boy has surprised the world," Maduro was quoted by VOR. "His disclosures were for the betterment of humanity. Even the majority of Americans so recognize, because nobody should be spying on anybody. This young man deserves humanitarian protection from some nation."

The Voice of Russia is the official broadcasting arm of the Russian government. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, its predecessor was known as Radio Moscow.

Maduro lambasted the United States, not only for "persecuting Snowden" but for granting political asylum to "people who placed bombs in Venezuela."

The statement was a reference to the case of Luis Posada Carriles, who according to this source is "a Cuban-born Venezuelan anti-communist terrorist, and former Central Intelligence Agency agent." Venezuela's government claims Posada Carriles was behind the bombing of Cubana Airlines flight 455 in 1976, which killed 78 people, including all 24 members of Cuba's 1975 national fencing team.

Carilles, 85, lives in Miami and is active in far-right political activities and the powerful anti-Castro movement in south Florida.

"Who deserves protection - young Snowden, or those who plant bombs?", queried Maduro. "So far nobody has asked us for asylum, but yes, we encourage somebody in the world to grant it. If not, we'll protect him."

In March president Maduro alleged that the U.S. may have killed his predecessor, and expelled two American naval attachés. Hugo Chávez' cancer was caused by "imperialist poisoning". The following month, during the presidential campaign to pick a successor, Madruo warned president Obama of a claimed U.S. plot to assassinate the opposition candidate, purportedly to create political instability in the country. Soon after, a U.S. citizen was arrested and held for six weeks on charges of aiding right wing forces in the country and trying to foment a revolution. But the charges were dropped on June 5 and the man was deported. Hours later U.S. secretary of state John Kerry and the Venezuelan foreign minister announced they wanted to work towards the normalization of diplomatic relations, including an exchange of full ambassadors, which neither has had in the other's capital since 2010.

An arrival by Edward Snowden in Caracas would undoubtedly put all of those plans on indefinite hold.

July 4 - Nicolás Maduro rejects U.S. request on Snowden
July 3 - Maduro da otro paso en incipiente acercamiento a EEUU
June 23 - Edward Snowden likely headed to Venezuela or Eucador
June 5 - Venezuela deports American Timothy Hallet Tracy
May 6 - Timothy Hallett Tracy is "neither a photographer nor a film maker"
Apr. 27 - Timothy Hallett Tracy makes first appearance in Venezuelan court
Apr. 25 - Venezuela arrests U.S. national Timothy Hallett Tracy

Maduro remains devoted to Venezuela's political icon, Hugo Chávez, who died Mar. 5

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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