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Snowden Offered Asylum By Venezuelan President 380

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the zombie-hugo-chavez-wants-american-brains dept.
First time accepted submitter aBaldrich writes "Edward Snowden was offered 'humanitarian asylum' by Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela. The country's official news agency reports (original Spanish, Google translation) that the decision was taken after a meeting of the presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. Maduro denounced an attempt to 'colonize' several European countries, and that he is acting 'on behalf of the dignity of the Americas.'" The Guardian confirms.
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Snowden Offered Asylum By Venezuelan President

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  • by akzeac (862521) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @07:52AM (#44202487)

    Those countries have denied doing so.

    Except that France has already apologized [bbc.co.uk].

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @07:54AM (#44202499) Homepage Journal
    Re 'Those countries have denied doing so."
    http://www.france24.com/en/20130705-spain-says-it-was-told-snowden-bolivian-flight [france24.com]
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/05/3486761/how-the-hunt-for-edward-snowden.html [miamiherald.com]
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2013/0705/Faulty-lead-linked-Snowden-to-Bolivian-jet-European-officials-say [csmonitor.com]
    France apologises in Bolivia plane row
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23174874 [bbc.co.uk]
    "France has apologised to Bolivia for refusing to allow President Evo Morales' jet into its airspace, blaming "conflicting information"."
  • by oztiks (921504) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @07:58AM (#44202509)

    Their are recordings of air to ground radio between the pilot and ground control floating about. The pilot is practically begging for a place to land. Should check it out if you can find it. The YoungTurk's YouTube feed has some of it in one of their stories.

  • by mbone (558574) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @08:03AM (#44202533)

    Cuba Flight 455 blown up, 78 people killed, Posada Carriles [wikipedia.org] (who, BTW, was trained by the CIA at Fort Benning) escaped Venezuela to the US, and currently lives in Miami after the US refused Venezuelan extradition, on the grounds that he could be tortured if extradited. (Judges generally don't do irony.) He was tried, and acquitted, in the US for entering the country illegally, in the course of the trial his lawyers made the interesting statement that ""The Defendant's CIA relationship, stemming from his work against the Castro regime through his anti-communist activities in Venezuela and Central America, are relevant and admissible to his defense."

    Although you will find barely a mention of the connection in the English language press, Juan Cole [juancole.com] connects the dots.

  • Venezuela background (Score:3, Informative)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @08:14AM (#44202593)

    Slightly dated now that el Presedente Chávez has passed on, but I doubt much has changed since. I'm sure Snowden will be happy if he makes it there, although he should probably bring toilet paper with him.

    Venezuela toilet paper shortage sends ordinary lives around the bend [guardian.co.uk] - 23 May 2013

    Scarcity of toilet rolls seen as part of 'general malaise' in which Venezuelans have to use guile during shortage in many staples

    Venezuela crackdown deemed worst in years [yahoo.com]

    Chavez Wasn't Just a Zany Buffoon, He Was an Oppressive Autocrat [theatlantic.com] - Mar 5 2013

    Like an old-style dictator, he treated the state as his personal plaything but, unlike one, his power rested not on violence but on genuine popular affection. Venezuela's history since 1999 has been the story of that contradiction playing itself out across the lives of 29 million people.

    Chávez's insistence on absolute submission from his supporters paved the way for the rise of an over-the-top cult of personality. As questioning any presidential directive was a sure career-ender for his followers, the upper reaches of his government came to be dominated by yes-men. Further down the food chain, too, extravagant displays of personal loyalty were required from every person in every nook and cranny of Venezuela's massive and fast-growing state apparatus, with state-owned factory workers required to attend rallies and clerical personnel fully expected to donate part of their salaries to the ruling party.

    Instead of a police state, Chávez built a propaganda state, one that churned out slogan after slogan stressing the intense, personal, near-mystical bond between him and his followers. . .

    Finding no resistance, Chávez gave free rein to his creative streak. He changed the country's official name, shifted its time zone by half-an-hour on a whim and added an extra star to the flag. At one point, he ordered the National Coat of Arms changed on his then 9-year-old daughter's suggestion. When an opposition satirist responded by publishing an Open Letter to the First Daughter -- reasoning that if she was now making public policy, people had a right to address her -- Chávez had the paper that printed the letter fined for violating a child's privacy.

    Venezuela [heritage.org] - 2013 Index of Economic Freedom

    In 1999, Hugo Chávez won the presidency, vanquished the traditional party system, and launched his Bolivarian Revolution aimed at “Socialism for the 21st Century.” Chávez styles himself the leader of Latin America’s anti–free market forces and has made alliances with China, Cuba, Russia, and rogue states like Iran. He has persecuted his political adversaries and critics, restricted media freedom, undermined the rule of law and property rights, militarized the government, and tried to destabilize neighboring Colombia. The national assembly, which he controls, passed a 2009 constitutional amendment allowing him to seek yet another presidential term, and he won re-election in October 2012. Venezuela has Latin America’s highest inflation rate (currently nearly 30 percent); chronic electricity, food, and housing shortages; and skyrocketing crime rates.

    The judiciary is dysfunctional and completely controlled by the executive. Politically inconvenient contracts are abrogated, and the legal system discriminates against or in favor of investors from certain foreign countries. The government expropriates land and other private holdings across the economy arbitrarily and without compensation. Corruption, exacerbated by cronyism and

  • by mbone (558574) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @08:20AM (#44202623)

    And Spain's Foreign Minister has said that Spain was told that Edward Snowden was aboard the Bolivian presidential jet [wsj.com], and that that was why the plane was diverted [guardian.co.uk].

  • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @08:51AM (#44202803) Homepage

    Not to bash Venezuela, which has many fine things about it, but also on this theme of what he is getting himself into.

    Not exactly the same, but from someone who tried to gain asylum in Venezuela and ended up leaving including due to aspects of culture shock:
    http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/110706_mcr_evolution.shtml [fromthewilderness.com]
    "The Bolivarian Revolution and Venezuelan culture inherently knows that it cannot make too many exceptions to the rule that diversity must protect itself or else the rule will have no meaning. Thatâ(TM)s exactly what I was asking it to do (though I didnâ(TM)t know it) when I came here. I am not just one migrating gringo. Mike Ruppert could not be assimilated without changing something here: the Tao of politics.
    That is why, after 15 weeks of waiting, after only one interview, a formal petition and a lot of pressure from influential Americans and Venezuelan-Americans (some with direct government connections) I have not heard a word on my request for political asylum. Venezuelans are inherently suspicious, let alone of a blond gringo who is an ex-policeman who came from a US intelligence family. It is possible that within the massive and glacially slow bureaucracy, some who are not loyal to Chavez have buried my request under a pile of papers. In Latin America things take much longer and I can see now that the waiting process, never guaranteed to be successful, is part of a natural selection. ...
    The important distinctions about adaptivity are not racial at all. US citizens come in all colors. American culture is the water they have swum in since birth. A native US citizen of Latin descent who did not (or even did) speak Spanish would probably feel almost as out of place here as I do. They would look the same but not feel the same. And when it came time to deal collectively with a rapidly changing world, a world in turmoil, a native-born Americanâ(TM)s inbred decades of âoeinstinctiveâ survival skills might not harmonize with the skills used by those around him. ...
    Start building your lifeboats where you are now. I can see that the lessons I have learned here are important whether you are thinking of moving from city to countryside, state to state, or nation to nation. Whatever shortcomings you may think exist where you live are far outnumbered by the advantages you have where you are a part of an existing ecosystem that you know and which knows you.
    If the time comes when it is necessary to leave that community you will be better off moving with your tribe rather than moving alone. ..."

    And:
    https://www.osac.gov/Pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=13038 [osac.gov]
    "The U.S. Department of State rates the criminal threat level for Caracas as CRITICAL. In 2010, Caracas became the deadliest capital in the world with the highest murder rate in the world, averaging one murder every hour. Much of Caracasâ(TM)s crime and violence can be attributed to mobile street gangs and organized crime groups. Caracas continues to be notorious for the brazenness of high-profile, violent crimes such as murder, robberies, and kidnappings. Armed assaults and robberies continue to be a part of everyday life. Every Caracas neighborhood is susceptible to crime. Reports of armed robberies occur regularly, day and night, and include the generally affluent residential sections of Chacao, Baruta, and El Hatillo, where host government, business leaders, and diplomats reside. Studies and reports cite a variety of reasons for the critically high and constant level of violent criminal activity in Caracas including: a sense that criminals will not be penalized; poorly paid and often corrupt police; an inefficient politicized judiciary; a violent and overcrowded prison system; overworked prosecutors; and the

  • by Artemis3 (85734) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @02:05PM (#44204367)

    Chavez didn't care. You could call him informally just Chavez or Hugo, and not only he wouldn't mind, he would appreciate it.

    He was formally the President. And as in many (but not all) countries, that position also entitles "Commander in Chief".

    It was the people who used the titles out of admiration or such, and everyone would use a different one as they see fit. They felt addressing Hugo was possible, like a neighbor or friend, unlike the usual politician in the opposition.

    Chavez was very close to the people, that is a fact of history.

  • by Dins (2538550) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @02:30PM (#44204557)
    Link to the video in question. [youtube.com]

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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