Edward Snowden: Asylum Offered By Venezuela, Still in Moscow Airport Transit Zone

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Venezuela is the "most likely" asylum choice for former U.S. intelligence contractor and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to reports.


Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who enabled him to expose the USA's secret spying program, said Venezuela is the one of three nations offering to take Snowden.

They are the most likely to guarantee his safety, he said.

Nicaragua and Bolivia would take Snowden, but Venezuela is better poised "to get him safely from Moscow to Latin America and to protect him once he's there."

"They're a bigger country, a stronger country and a richer country with more leverage in international affairs," said Greenwald of Snowden's future home.

Possible future home, anyway.

Edward Snowden, 30, is believed to be holed up in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport from where he has applied for asylum in more than 20 countries.

He is seeking asylum in a bid to avoid extradition to the U.S.

Even if Snowden agrees to an asylum deal with Venezuela, making it there is not guaranteed, as his U.S. passport has already been canceled.

Moreover, U.S. allies may deny airspace to any flight on which he is believed to be on, said Greenwald, a blogger and columnist for the U.K.’s Guardian.

Greenwald published reports disclosing the vast scale of surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency on the telephone records of U.S. citizens.

Snowden, on the run in Moscow, reportedly has Internet access in the airport transit zone - a diplomatic no man’s land - as he ponders his future options.

He said Snowden's task was "figuring out how to get to the country that has offered him asylum" without coming within reach of the United States.

The U.S., he says, is "the rogue, lawless empire that has proven itself willing to engage in rogue behavior to prevent him physically from getting there."

Venezuela confirmed Monday that it had received Snowden’s asylum request, but had no more information on whether a deal had been reached.

On Saturday, Venezuela’s foreign minister Elias Jaua said: “We are waiting until Monday to know whether he confirms his wish to take asylum.”

That apparent deadline passed without further information from Caracas, or from the Venezuelan embassy in Moscow, which said it had no information.

The paucity of asylum offers has led to speculation Snowden might seek to remain in Russia, creating a diplomatic headache for President Vladimir Putin.

Putin has already made clear he wants the leaker to move elsewhere.

Writing in Foreign Policy, Dmitri Trenin suggested Snowden’s move to Moscow may have been a Russian attempt to snub the U.S. which had backfired.

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