June 24, 2013

Snowden is tempting risk for Ecuadoran leader

President Rafael Correa said on Twitter that "we will take the decision that we feel most suitable," based on the principles of human rights.

The Associated Press

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Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino speaks to reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam on Monday June 24, 2013. Patino said that he did not know where National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is. Snoweden had a seat booked Monday on a plane flying from Moscow to Cuba, but there were no signs he was aboard the plane. Patino, on a visit to Vietnam, said Ecuador is considering an asylum request from Snowden. He did not go into details. (AP Photo/Tran Van Minh.)

Edward Snowden
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Admitted NSA leaker Edward Snowden


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"If Assange and Snowden were Ecuadoran, they would definitely be in jail," one of the reporters sued by Correa, Juan Carlos Calderon, told The Associated Press.

Snowden has applied for asylum in Ecuador, Iceland and possibly other countries, Assange said. A trip to Ecuador from Moscow could take him through Cuba and Venezuela, both in the midst of quiet thaws in long-chilly ties with the United States, and taking in Snowden would likely damage those efforts.

Last week, Cuba and the United States held talks on restarting direct mail service, and announced that a separate sit-down to discuss immigration issues will be held in Washington on July 17.

Officials from both countries also report far greater cooperation in behind-the-scenes dealings, including during a brief incident involving a Florida couple who sought asylum in Cuba after allegedly kidnapping their own children. Cuba worked with U.S. officials to quickly send the couple back.

Venezuela this month agreed to high-level negotiations on restoring ambassadorial relations and improving more than a decade of sour ties. That announcement came after a meeting in Guatemala between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua.

The United States remains the No. 1 buyer of Venezuela's oil.


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