10 Jul 2013

Snowden ‘likely to’ accept Venezuela asylum

Edward Snowden, the fugitive former US intelligence contractor, is likely to accept asylum in Venezuela, the journalist who first published his leaked security secrets has said.

Edward Snowden is likely to accept asylum in Venezuela, as long as he can get there, Glenn Greenwald says (picture: Getty)

Speaking directly after an online conversation with Mr Snowden, currently in asylum limbo in Russia, Glenn Greenwald said Venezuela was the most likely country that had offered Mr Snowden asylum that could guarantee his safety.

Nicaragua and Bolivia have also offered Mr Snowden asylum but Greenwald, who writes for the Guardian, said Venezuela was the most likely “to get him safely from Moscow to Latin America and to protect him once he’s there.”

‘More leverage’

Mr Greenwald said: “They’re a bigger country, a stronger country and a richer country with more leverage in international affairs.”

Mr Snowden is currently prevented from progressing further into Russia than the boundaries of the Moscow international airport.

His dilemma is how to get to any of the countries that have offered him asylum, especially in light of the recent grounding of Bolivian president Evo Morales’s plane in Vienna.

The US, which Mr Greenwald labelled “the rogue, lawless empire that has proven itself willing to engage in rogue behavior to prevent him physically from getting there”, has been putting pressure on countries to prevent Mr Snowden travelling through their air space.

Wikileaks, the “whistle-blowing website”, has been giving legal advice to Mr Snowden. It said on Tuesday that there could be new developments in his case as soon as Wednesday. However, Mr Greenwald warned that a resolution to the situation could still take “hours or days or weeks”.