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Edward Snowden Asylum in Venezuela? Guardian's Greenwald Says It's Likely

Image: Edward Snowden Asylum in Venezuela? Guardian's Greenwald Says It's Likely

By Michael Mullins   |   Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 07:21 AM

Edward Snowden has been offered asylum in three Latin American countries, but he will "most likely" choose Venezuela, according to his primary media contact, The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald.

Following an online exchange with the 30-year-old whistle-blower on Tuesday, Greenwald told Reuters that Venezuela will likely be his asylum destination due to its size, comparative wealth, and diplomatic sway in international affairs that will help to secure Snowden's transport from Russia to Latin America.

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In comparison to Nicaragua and Bolivia – the other two Latin American nations that have offered Snowden asylum, Venezuela is better poised "to get him safely from Moscow to Latin America and to protect him once he's there," Greenwald told Reuters. "They're a bigger country, a stronger country and a richer country with more leverage in international affairs."

Greenwald later clarified on Twitter that there was no garuntee that Snowden was going to Venezuela, and that he was just speculating that Venezuela seems the most feasible place.

Snowden is presently believed to be held up at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport inside a transit zone where he has managed to apply for asylum in more than 20 countries to avoid extradition to the U.S., NBC News reported.

A former NSA technical contractor, Snowden is now a fugitive after leaking top-secret information on U.S. and British government surveillance programs to the press earlier this year.

If Snowden accepts Venezuela's asylum offer, travel problems could arise, considering his U.S. passport was canceled, and U.S. allies might deny airspace to the plane that transports him, NBC News notes.

In his interview with Reuters, Greenwald noted such travel issues could take "days or hours or weeks" to resolve.

Snowden's main task is "figuring out how to get to the country that has offered him asylum" without coming within reach of the U.S., Greenwald told Reuters.

In his interview with Reuters, Greenwald, who was born in Queens, N.Y., described the U.S. as a "the rogue, lawless empire that has proven itself willing to engage in rogue behavior to prevent [Snowden] physically from getting there," NBC News reported.

Greenwald, who held the first interview with the whistle blower, said that he planned to write more articles as he went through the remainder of Snowden’s leaked documents.

On Saturday, NBC News reported that Venezuela’s foreign minister Elias Jaua released a statement.

"We are waiting until Monday to know whether he confirms his wish to take asylum."

No further details have been released since.

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