21 Countries And Rising Have Joined Anti-NSA UN Resolution Discussions

RT reports that 21 countries have joined in draft discussions at the UN for an anti-NSA resolution to be passed. In the discussions are the following nations: Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Germany, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Norway, Paraguay, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela. The resolution seeks to condemn indiscriminate and extra-territorial surveillance and rectify that with independent oversight of all electronic monitoring.

The resolution was proposed earlier this week by Germany and Brazil, two of the largest and most vocal critics of the USA’s global spying operations. While the document does not single out the USA or NSA specifically, the rhetoric is clearly a direct attack on the NSA’s exposed global surveillance practices.

The draft resolutions states that UN members are “deeply concerned at human rights violations and abuses that may result from the conduct of extra-territorial surveillance or interception of communications in foreign jurisdictions.” and that “illegal surveillance of private communications and the indiscriminate interception of personal data of citizens constitutes a highly intrusive act that violates the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society.”

Image courtesy of Joshua Lott / Getty Images / AFP

Spain Offers Apology For Bolivia/Snowden Flight Blocking Incident

It has now been about two weeks since the Bolivian jet incident occurred. To cut a long story short, Spain, France, Portugal and Italy blocked their airspace to the Bolivian Presidential Jet amid suspicions that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard. As a result the jet was forced to land in Austria and officials conducted a search of the jet to see if Edward Snowden was onboard. According to El Nuevo Empresario Spain have now issued an officially apology for the incident. This comes after several Latin American nations withdrew their diplomatic ambassadors from Spain in protest.

The government of Spain officially contacted Bolivian diplomats to apologise for the incident and offer explanations as to why airspace access was denied. The reason why Spain was so important in the incident is because the presidential jet was due to land and refuel on the Spanish owned Canary Islands.

“Spain deeply regrets what happened and we’re sorry for how things happened. We presented our apologies. We consider this situation settled” said a Spanish diplomat.

This is certainly a step in the right direction for repairing the damage but Portugal, France and Italy have still yet to resolve the issue with Bolivia and Latin America. Until that happens we could see the diplomatic rift continue.

Image courtesy of AFP Photo/Patrick Domingo

Bolivian Leader Claims USA Has Hacked All Government Emails

The fallout between the USA and Bolivia continues after the USA forced European countries to close their airspace to the Bolivian President’s jet a few weeks ago. This was so the plane could be searched for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. While Edward Snowden now looks more likely to take asylum in Russia, Bolivia and the rest of Latin America appear to be growing ever more frustrated with the conduct of the USA. The latest incident to add fuel to the fire is an American hacking incident. Bolivia’s president Evo Morales, pictured above, stated that the American government has been hacking his emails and the emails of his top level government. He states that as a result he has now shut down his email and advised government colleagues to do the same.

“Those US intelligence agents have accessed the emails of our most senior authorities in Bolivia…It was recommended to me that I not use email, and I’ve followed suit and shut it down” Morales said in a speech at the Mercosur regional summit in Montevideo according to Russia Today.

Furthermore at the same summit the Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timmerman said that over 100 of their government officials were under surveillance from an unnamed nation. However, you can safely assume the unnamed nation was the USA given the circumstances in which it was announced.

Image courtesy of CNN.com

Latin American Nations Withdraw Ambassadors From Europe After Jet Incident

Russia Today reports that the backlash against Europe after the Bolivian Jet incident is now growing in Latin America. After having a serious emergency meeting already four countries have now decided to withdraw their ambassadors from European nations involved in the incident.

Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay will all withdraw their ambassadors from France, Spain, Portugal and Italy in retaliation against their decision to block airspace for Bolivian president Evo Morales and his state jet – pictured above.

Nicolas Maduro, president of Venezuela, stated that:

“We’ve taken a number of actions in order to compel public explanations and apologies from the European nations that assaulted our brother Evo Morales”

Both the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) and trade-bloc Mercosur (Mercado Común del Sur) have condemned the actions of Europe as imperialist and neo-colonialist. This entire diplomatic spat has emerged from the belief that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard the Bolivian State Jet. Since then the situation has escalated with the majority of Latin America condemning Western Europe and the USA, and many Latin American nations offering Edward Snowden asylum in protest.

Image courtesy of AFP Photo/Patrick Domingo

USA Applying Diplomatic Pressure To Latin America To Reject Snowden

 

In an attempt to prevent Edward Snowden from seeking asylum in Latin America the USA is applying diplomatic pressure to Latin American countries such as Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and others. Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia have already made formal offers of asylum to Edward Snowden and the USA is trying to ensure that no other sympathisers get on board with the NSA whistleblower.

A NY Times report suggests that the USA has been threatening Latin American countries. They have stated that letting Edward Snowden in would “have lasting consequences” and “would put relations in a very bad place for a long time to come”. Furthermore they state that all state governments understand their position right now and should do their best to support the USA in bring Snowden back to the USA for trial.

Despite these threats it seems unlikely that Latin America will give way to American pressure any time soon as Ecuador and Venezuela have already publicly condemned the USA, Cuba have backed the actions of Latin America and at the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) meeting last week the overwhelming consensus was anti-USA.

We wonder what options the USA has left before it has to resort to dirty-tactics like anti-competitive trade practices or military expeditions.

Image courtesy of brlatina.com

Bolivia Join Venezuela And Nicaragua In Offering Snowden Asylum

During a speech yesterday Evo Morales officially offered NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, political asylum in his country Bolivia. Quoted in El Comercio Morales said that

“As a protest, we just want to say to the Europeans and Americans that we will give asylum to this US citizen that is being persecuted by his compatriots. We are not afraid.”

He mentioned that if Edward Snowden made the official request they would grant him asylum. This suggests that Snowden is yet to formally request asylum from Bolivia. Interestingly Snowden has now applied for asylum in 27 countries according to WikiLeaks and these  have been met with mainly rejections but recently Edward Snowden was offered asylum by Venezuela and Nicaragua taking his total number of options now to three, all Latin American countries.

With the options coming in rather quickly now, with just 3 in 2 days, expect Snowden to get a few more offers as more countries follow in the footsteps of the Latin American nations.

Still the fact remains that even if Snowden takes asylum in Venezuela, Bolivia or Nicaragua he still has to get safe passage there without his flight being intercepted.

Image courtesy of CNN.com

Latin American Countries Host Emergency Meeting, Condemn The USA

The Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the incident in which Bolivia’s President Evo Morales had his plane forcibly grounded amid suspicions NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard. The incident triggered outrage from many Latin American countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador while other nations attended to show their support for the conclusion of the UNASUR meeting. Colombia, Chile and Peru all have very strong ties with the USA and thus did not attend but expressed their solidarity with Bolivia.

Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro stated that “Violation of international law against Evo Morales is against all of us” while Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa said “We are here to support Bolivia”. Bolivia had much strong words to say calling the incident a “flagrant violation of international treaties” and demanded an apology from all involved parties. Furthermore, Evo Morales of Bolivia threatened to shut down the U.S embassy in his country. 

Of the denounced nations (The USA, Spain, Italy, France and Portugal) only Spain have responded stating “Spain doesn’t have to ask pardon in anyway because its airspace was never closed“. Some big rhetoric is now going down in Latin American with the USA and who knowes we might see Edward Snowden granted asylum as a political weapon against the USA.

Image courtesy of UNASUR

U.S Admits To Discussing Flight-Blocking With Countries Over Snowden

Yesterday there was an incident that saw Bolivian President Evo Morales forced to land in Austria after suspicions that Edward Snowden was onboard. His plane was refused entry into airspace of Portugal, Spain and France on the way back to La Paz and this has left a bitter taste in the mouth of Latin American countries who are now taking the matter to the UN with an official complaint. Since that incident the U.S state department has come out and admitted that it has been actively speaking with countries about denying airspace and land access to any transport carrying Edward Snowden.

Speaking with the Guardian a U.S spokesperson stated that:

“We have been in contact with a range of countries that had a chance of having Snowden land or travel through their country but I am not going to outline which countries or when the contact happened”

This comes after the U.S president said last week that he would not bother to interfere in Snowden’s flights. Now that the USA is worried about the fact Snowden might actually get away and get political asylum and has made a complete u-turn on its previous statements. While the U.S didn’t admit to being responsible for the incident with Bolivia’s Evo Morales, nearly everyone suspects they were the culprits. Also given these talks with other countries about airspace blockades took place in the last ten days, it is highly likely the USA was responsible.

Image courtesy of AFP Photo/Patrick Domingo

Snowden’s Asylum Options: 1 Withdrawn 10 Rejected 10 Pending

According to reports by RT.com Snowden’s options for political asylum are rapidly evaporating. The NSA whistleblower has withdrawn his application for Asylum to Russia after they told him he could only have asylum if he stopped “damaging” the USA, a condition he was not prepared to agree to. Furthermore Finland, Brazil, Poland, India and Germany all rejected his asylum claim outright stating they were not willing to accept him. Spain, Norway, Italy, Ecuador and Austria also rejected Snowden’s asylum request on the grounds that he had to be already inside the country for it to be processed. These rejections bring the total numbers of rejections to 10, and with the single withdrawal, 11 of Snowden’s options have already been vaporised.

So what options are left for the NSA whistleblower? Well he still has Bolivia, China, Cuba, France, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Switzerland and Venezuela left to reply. Of those ten remaining options China says it is not aware of the request and France has denied ever receiving such an Asylum request and since they also recently blocked a Bolivian Jet from flying through their airspace because of suspicions that Edward Snowden was onboard it could easily turn out that France will reject the request too.

As of writing the most likely nations to accept seem to be Venezuela and Bolivia after they both expressed anti-USA sentiments and stated their willingness to protect Snowden.

Image courtesy of the Guardian

Bolivian Jet Grounded Over Claims Snowden Is Onboard, UN Complaint Ensues

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales was flying back from Russia where he was attending an energy summit when his plane was forced to land in Austria. The reason? Italy, France, Spain and Portugal had all refused to allow his jet to pass through their airspace on the justification that they believed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard. After being forced to land in Vienna Austria the plane was searched by Austrian officials and it was revealed that Edward Snowden was not on the plane. Furthermore Evo Morales strongly refuted such claims stating that these were rumours made up by the U.S government. Additionally other Latin American leaders are furious over the whole situation stating Evo Morales was “kidnapped by imperalism”.

Bolivia’s UN Envoy is now stepping in to file complaints against the USA, Austria, Italy, France, Portugal and Spain describing the event as “An act of aggression and violation of international law” as the USA desperately tries to bring Edward Snowden into their custody. Bolivia’s UN Envoy member Sacha Llorrentty Soliz told press in New York that the decision to search the plane almost definitely originated in the USA. With Bolivia and Venezuela both pledging their support to Edward Snowden in recent times it is likely the U.S government will try and do anything against them to stop Edward Snowden reaching their territories.

Image courtesy of AFP Photo/Patrick Domingo

Snowden Releases List Of Countries Contacted For Political Asylum Requests

While it is now relatively common knowledge that the famous internet surveillance NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is stuck in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, it hasn’t been well documented where he was seeking political asylum up until now. We’ve known he has been in talks with Ecuador, but with that starting to unfold who else has he been trying to seek political asylum with? Well surprisingly his options aren’t as limited as you might think. According to an official statement made by the whistleblower organisation WikiLeaks Edward Snowden has applied for political asylum in the following nation-states:

  • Austria
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • The Netherlands
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Russia (where he is situated now)
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Venezuela

Surprisingly, Ecuador is now off the list after President Correa seems to be bowing to American pressure. He has gone from pledging his support to Snowden at all costs to saying that he now offered Snowden help “by mistake”. It is also worth noting that Russia have also refused to offer Edward Snowden political asylum unless he stops releasing documents that are harming the USA.

Edward Snowden is currently seeking asylum on the grounds of persecution risk if he is forced to return back to the USA.

We will be sure to keep you updated with how this goes for Edward Snowden. He is easily becoming one of the most important figures of our generation.

Image courtesy of the Guardian