Rick Moran mentioned in last night’s podcast that Jaime Darenblum had a great article on Ecuador coming up at Pajama’s Media today. Indeed he does:
Why did Snowden pick Ecuador? Like Assange, he recognizes that President Rafael Correa is an anti-American leftist who has repeatedly clashed with Washington and has eagerly embraced U.S. adversaries. Indeed, Correa is a Hugo Chávez acolyte who reportedly receivedmoney from Colombian FARC terrorists during his 2006 presidential campaign; who in 2009 expelled a U.S. embassy official named Armando Astorga and forced the U.S. military to leave Manta air base (which had been used for anti-drug operations); who in 2011expelled U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges; who in 2012 withdrewEcuadorean troops from the U.S.-based Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation and also threatened to expel USAID from Ecuador; and who boycotted the 2012 Summit of the Americas to protest the exclusion of Cuba. His government has also strengthened ties with Iran, and there is compelling evidence that the Iranians have used their close relationship with Ecuador to evade international sanctions and access the global financial system. Ecuadorean foreign minister Ricardo Patiño has called Iran a “strategic partner,” and Correa has defended the Iranian nuclear program.
Related: Re Edward #Snowden: read the info about Ecuador Assange’s Wikileaks will not publish regarding the purchase of surveillance equipment the government will be using against the Ecuadorian people. Darenblum continues,
As Ramiro Crespo of Quito-based Analytica Investments tells the Washington Post, “Ecuador is looking to be an antagonist of the United States and looking for causes that will permit it to do that.” That’s why it granted asylum to Julian Assange, and that’s why it may soon grant asylum to Edward Snowden. Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Patiño condemned U.S. officials for their efforts to apprehend the NSA leaker. “The one who is denounced pursues the denouncer,” he said,according to the New York Times. “The man who tries to provide light and transparency to issues that affect everyone is pursued by those who should be giving explanations about the denunciations that have been presented.” For his part, President Correa tweeted that “we will analyze the Snowden case very responsibly and we will make with absolute sovereignty the decision that we believe is most appropriate.”
Given his anti-U.S. record and his desire to succeed the late Hugo Chávez as the leader of Latin America’s populist-left coalition, there is good reason to expect that Correa will approve Snowden’s request.
And, by the way, sheltering Julian Assange, a Swedish and Australian citizen, at the London embassy is nowhere near the same as granting asylum to an American, since,
while Correa is known for his “anti-imperialist” rants and frequent denunciations of U.S. foreign policy, Ecuador still has a dollarized economy, and it still sends 45 percent of its exports to the United States (mostly oil, food products, and flowers), making America its largest trade partner. Since the early 1990s, Ecuador has benefited from U.S. trade preferences that are scheduled to expire on July 31. Thanks to these preferences, 23 percent of Ecuador’s U.S.-bound exports are exempt from tariffs. If Correa shelters Snowden, he will obviously jeopardize his country’s trade status.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has hailed NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s “courage” and offered to consider an asylum application. Venezuela, on the other hand, may not want to rush to a decision, considering that the USA is its #1 oil customer and refiner.
Snowden sent encrypted copies of his NSA files to people in case anything happens to him, which means he would have us believe he’s willing to head over to China and Russia in the belief that they can’t break/wouldn’t already have his encryption, but will have released all sorts of information damaging to the US if anyone knocks him off? And, another question,
How would you arrange to send a password to unlock encrypted files if you’re working alone?
For now, it looks like Edward Snowden may be stuck in Russia; the US revoked his passport, and, unless he has made other arrangements, his Russian transit visa (if he has one), may be about to expire, currently making him the world’s most famous illegal alien.
Video below the fold since it starts right away,