Photo: Edward Snowden Ecuador
Alleged spy Edward Snowden is reportedly seeking asylum in Ecuador while having just arrived in Russia via Hong Kong. Snowden, 30, was hiding out in Hong Kong after confessing to spilling government secrets they would preferred stayed secret.
The U.S. government had charged the former National Security contractor with espionage and theft of government property on Friday and today reportedly revoked his U.S. passport. They had also asked the Hong Kong government to hand over Snowden – they did not immediately reply to the request. However, this morning they announced that he had left the country to Russia. Other reports indicate that Snowden is booked on a Russian flight to either Havana, Cuba or Caracas, Venezuela.
Clearly a decision has been made to go to a left-leaning Latin American country that has no clear extradition agreement and/or relations with the United States.
Should Snowden arrive in Ecuador he will be the second high-profile “spy” to be granted asylum by the country. Currently Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is hiding out at the Ecuador Embassy in London hoping to leave to Ecuador.
Snowden is wanted in connection with leaking top-secret documents about U.S. domestic surveillance programs. Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino on behalf of President Rafael Correa said they would be willing to consider granting Snowden asylum.
CNN is reporting that Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong to Russia was greeted by a car with diplomatic plates marked with the Ecuadorian flag. The U.S. has asked Cuba, Ecuador, and Venezuela, not to admit Snowden.