Venezuela Is Now Snowden’s Best Hope—and Maybe His Last

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 2 2013 1:55 PM

Venezuela Is Now Snowden’s Best Hope—and Maybe His Last

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, on July 2, 2013. Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was denied asylum by a host of countries today after applying for a safe haven in 21 nations spanning the globe in hopes of winning protection from American justice. Snowden found particular support in Maduro. But Maduro refused to entertain speculation he might take Snowden on a plane with him from Moscow—a possibility raised both by Russian media and political observers of the explosive case.

Photo by MAXIM SHEMETOV/AFP/Getty Images

The latest front-runner in the Edward Snowden asylum sweepstakes appears to be Venezuela. Initially, Ecuador seemed to be the likeliest destination for the NSA leaker, but Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has cooled his rhetoric after speaking with Vice President Joe Biden on the matter. Snowden has also ruled out Russia, where is currently stranded: though he briefly flirted with a request for Russian asylum yesterday, Snowden has since withdrawn his application. That leaves Venezuela—whose president, Nicolas Maduro, is conveniently in town for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The New York Times explains:

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, visiting Russia, said that while he had not yet received an application from Mr. Snowden and would not use his plane to ferry Mr. Snowden home with him, he held out the possibility that Venezuela might ultimately agree to shelter Mr. Snowden.
Speaking to legislators and reporters at the Russian Parliament, Mr. Maduro said that Mr. Snowden deserved protection under international law.
“He did not kill anyone and he did not plant a bomb,” Mr. Maduro said, according to Russian news services. “He only said a big truth to prevent wars.”

According to WikiLeaks, which has taken on Snowden's cause with gusto, Snowden has forwarded asylum requests to 19 other nations, a list ranging from reliable U.S. critics like Cuba and China to the friendlier nations of France and Germany. Many countries have denied his requests on procedural or political grounds; some haven’t commented at all.

If all else fails for Snowden, he may also have a backer in Bolivia—albeit a somewhat indifferent one. When asked if he would shelter the leaker, President Evo Morales reportedly said, “Why not?”



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.