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Still a mystery: the whereabouts and future of Edward Snowden. Printer friendly page Print This
By Les Blough. Axis of Logic
Axis of Logic
Monday, Jul 8, 2013

At the July 5th Independence Day March in Caracas, President Nicolas Maduro announced his decision to offer Edward Snowden asylum. His offer and those of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Bolivian President Evo Morales are unique in the face of rejection or indecision by many other countries to which Snowden has applied. Russia's offer of asylum was conditioned on Snowden's cessation of his "anti-American activity" - which he quickly rejected.

Venezuela's offer of asylum to Edward Snowden

It is fitting that President Maduro as leader of the Bolivarian Revolution be the first to make this offer to Snowden, consistent with the humanitarian and democratic values enshrined in the Venezuelan constitution. It is also precisely what former President Chavez would have done were he alive today.

On July 5, President Maduro stated:

“As head of state and of government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American Edward Snowden.

“To be independent, we must feel it. We must exercise our independence and sovereignty. Our discourses are meaningless if they aren’t exercised with force at the national level.

“I announce to the friendly governments of the world that we have decided to offer this statute of international humanitarian law to protect the young Snowden from the persecution that has been unleashed from the most powerful empire in the world.

“Let’s ask ourselves: who violated international law? A young man who decided, in an act of rebellion, to tell the truth of the espionage of the United States against the world? Or the government of the United States, the power of the imperialist elites, who spied on it?

“Who is the guilty one? A young man who denounces war plans, or the US government which launches bombs and arms the terrorist Syrian opposition against the people and legitimate president, Bashar al-Assad?”

Meanwhile, there has been no published indication that Snowden has accepted offers by Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Why not?

The act of air piracy by European countries

The unknown whereabouts of Edward Snowden then resulted in an act of air piracy against Bolivian President Evo Morales. Earlier last week (July 2), based on unfounded suspicions that Snowden was secretly stowed on board Bolivian President Evo Morales' plane, France, Portugal, Italy and Spain refused to allow Morales to land for refueling or even pass through their air space on his long return home from an economic conference in Russia. With low fuel, the plane was forced to land in Vienna for refueling where it remained for 11 hours before returning to Bolivia. The countries who refused landing and air rights to President Morales simply lied about it later and the corporate-government media repeated their lies as fact.

As a result, the Union of South American Nations (UNISUR) held an extraordinary meeting condemning this act of air piracy against Bolivia. The Presidents of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro; Argentina, Cristina Fernandez; Uruguay, José Pepe Mujica; Ecuador, Rafael Correa; Suriname, Desi Boutersi; as well as delegations from other South American nations met in Cochabamba, Bolivia and signed the Cochabamba Declaration, in which they called the aggression against Bolivia a "flagrant violation of international treaties governing peaceful coexistence, solidarity and cooperation between our states."

The declaration denounced "the situation that the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales, was subjected to by the governments of France, Portugal, Italy and Spain" and demanded their explanation and apology for their "decision to prevent the presidential plane from the Plurinational State of Bolivia from overflying through their airspace." The UNISUR presidents declared the act to be an "unacceptable restriction on the freedom of President Evo Morales, virtually making him a hostage" calling it "a rights violation of not only the Bolivian people but of all countries and peoples of Latin America and sets a dangerous precedent for existing international law."

Edward Snowden's whereabouts and his future

Frankly, except for a handful of people who are protecting Snowden, nobody knows. His whereabouts and his future continue to be shrouded in mystery, secrecy and intrigue which fuel rumors, speculation and conjecture in the international corporate and "alternative" media. Axis of Logic has only written and republished what can be known based on reliable sources and the following questions remain today:
  • Did Presidents Putin and Maduro discuss the future of Snowden after Maduro met with Putin in Moscow on July 2 for the Second Summit of Heads of State of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF)?

  • If Snowden secretly applied to Venezuela for asylum why has his request not been published on the list of the many countries where he is said to have applied?

  • What, if anything, will it tell us about Snowden if he has not secretly applied for asylum in Venezuela and does not accept the offer by the Venezuelan government?

  • Assuming that Snowden is still in Moscow and that he accepts President Maduro's offer of asylum, how will he move (or be moved) from Moscow to Venezuela?

  • If he is flown to Venezuela by either commercial or military aircraft, will the flight be threatened by the US or their European underlings as happened with Bolivian President Evo Morales?

  • Will he come to Venezuela if he accepts the offer made by President Maduro - or go to the Venezuelan Embassy in Moscow to live and work as Julian Assange now lives and works in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London?
Despite the plethora of news & opinion articles that have been published on Snowden's whereabouts, applications for asylum, etc, these questions remain.

Frequently the story of Edward Snowden gives birth to dramatic new developments like the fiasco with President Morales flight from Russia to Bolivia and President Rafael Correa's powerful response to U.S. threats of economic sanctions should Snowden gain asylum in Ecuador. 

Lack of evidence

No photos of Snowden have been seen since Russia announced on June 23rd that he arrived in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.  A virtual mob of international reporters who converged on the airport and the hotel in the airport transit area where Snowden is said to be "holed up" for the last 2 weeks have failed to produce a single sighting of him.

We the public have not received any hard evidence that Snowden is still at the Sheremetyevo Airport and all the speculation and conjecture the world can produce will not clarify what is to happen next. Today, he could be anywhere but surely the time will come when Edward Snowden will appear - somewhere. Until then it's "wait and see." We will update Axis of Logic readers with new reliable information as it comes available.

Biography, Essays and Poetry by Les Blough

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