As of 11:22 a.m. ET, the WSJ reports that Ecuador Hasn’t Given Snowden Travel Documents
Government Unilaterally Renounces Trade Preferences With U.S. The trade preferences were expected to expire July 30.
For the time being,
Officials of this small Andean nation lashed back at attempts by U.S. lawmakers to use a set of trade preferences that expire at the end of July as a bargaining chip to push Ecuador, which says it’s considering an asylum request by Mr. Snowden, away from supporting him. Ecuador said it was unilaterally renouncing these trade preferences.
But the Ecuadorean government also reiterated that it hadn’t provided him travel papers that could aid his global journey to evade espionage charges in the U.S, casting fresh doubts about the tools that Mr. Snowden has at his disposal while he appears to remain holed up in the transit zone of a Moscow airport terminal.
The U.S. has revoked Mr. Snowden’s passport and, without any travel documents, it is unclear how he could fly out of Moscow.
This report contradicts Univision’s, which last night
posted images of what it said was a “safe pass” for temporary travel that had been apparently issued by Ecuador’s embassy in London to Mr. Snowden—a document he would need after U.S. officials said earlier this week they had canceled his passport.
It sounds to me that the Correa regime may be haggling over price with Snowden.
Mark my words, Correa’s not aiming for Hugo Chavez’s empty throne. Correa’s going to stay well away from that, and let Maduro and Cabello fight it out in Venezuela. IN the meantime, Correa is looking after Correa.
Venezuela has made polite noises to Snowden, but Snowden may have to adjust himself to some limitations (link in Spanish, via Daniel), such as keeping his mouth shut for fear of being sent to jail, and taking blackouts, food shortages and no toilet paper in stride.
“Ecuador’s foreign ministry said the country would consider whether to grant asylum to Mr. Snowden if he presents himself at one of the country’s diplomatic missions.” Well, that may not be as easy as it sounds. Look at Assange, sitting in the London embassy because England won’t grant him safe passage.
Putin hasn’t thrown him out of the airport yet, but Putin’s not a guy you want to mess with, and the Ecuadorians would need Putin’s permission to transport him to and from the airport.
Then there are two more issues,
whether there was a country that would allow him free transit on his way to Ecuador, which has said it would consider granting him asylum, and whether he had the temporary travel documents to get there.
Of course, there’s always asking Russia for asylum, a la Guy Burgess,
Someday someone will write a book about what Snowden didn’t know.
Developing. . .