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January 25, 2022

Venezuela offers Edward Snowden hope of asylum

Edward Snowden was given another option of a possible safe haven today as the Venezuelan President said he would consider an asylum request for the former NSA contractor. However, there were reports this morning that Mr Snowden’s annulled US passport meant he was stuck at Moscow’s Sheremetevo Airport, unable to enter Russia proper or buy a ticket out, The Independent informs. “If they proposed it, and it seems that it has been requested of Ecuador … we would also consider it,” said Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s President, of a possible asylum bid today. He said that the “information on the violation of civil liberties” leaked by Snowden could “change the world”. Ecuador’s foreign minister has said that Mr Snowden has indeed applied for asylum in the country but denies reports that is has issued travel documents. Ecuador has also granted asylum to Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, who has been stuck in the country’s London Embassy for a year. The question now is whether Mr Snowden might end up being stuck in a similar kind of limbo, or whether he will be able to continue on to Venezuela or Ecuador. On Monday he was booked on a scheduled Aeroflot flight to Havana but did not take it, and the Cuba route still seems the most logical way to get from Moscow to Latin America without passing countries that might extradite him to the US. However, the Aeroflot plane does ordinarily fly through US airspace.

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