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

Snowden Crowd-funding Campaign Pulled By IndieGoGo

Yes it is that same photo of Edward Snowden again!

A campaign set up to fly Edward Snowden to Latin America dubbed “Fly Edward Snowden Fly” has been pulled by Crowd-funding company IndieGoGo. The campaign was started by Christian Honey, a neuroscientist with the Oxford University, and his aim was to raise enough in travel and legal funding to help pay Snowden’s costs of reaching Venezuela where Edward Snowden has been offered asylum.

Apparently IndieGoGo have closed the funding page down because the company is based in the USA and would come under economic and legal pressure for hosting it. Furthermore the bank account being funded is apparently not owned by the whistleblower himself and thus cannot be authorised by IndieGoGo.

The campaign intended to raise $200,000 to rent a private plane to take Snowden from Russia to Venezuela avoiding NATO airspace by crossing the Pacific and not the Atlantic like commercial flights. The same organiser is looking to set up the campaign on another crowd-funding website that will not cave in to American pressure so easily.

Image courtesy of The Guardian.

Venezuela Attacks The USA’s Meddling Agenda

RT reports that Venezuela’s foreign ministry has blasted Washington for their diplomatic conduct. Venezuela has described the USA actions as demonstrating a “meddling agenda” and as a result they ended current diplomatic negotiations stating “The Bolivarian Republican of Venezuela considers the diplomatic processes initiated in Guatemala over”.

Venezuela’s statements were in response to the US candidate for ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, who said she’d end human rights abuses and repression in Cuba and Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, stated that:

“Power says she’ll fight repression in Venezuela? What repression? There is repression in the United States, where they kill African-Americans with impunity, and where they hunt the youngster Edward Snowden just for telling the truth”

Venezuela’s minister of foreign affairs, Elias Jaua, stated that:

“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will never accept meddling in its internal affairs. We reject the fact that a nominee for the post of UN ambassador has interference in Venezuela on her agenda…[Venezuela] has fully demonstrated that it has a solid base in its constitution that guarantees the preservation of the practice and respect for Human Rights”

Venezuela have stated they wish to build good relations with the USA but that these must be based on mutual respect for sovereignty and self-determination.

These strong words from Venezuela come after the the U.S secretary of state John Kerry threatened Venezuela with political and economic sanctions if they offer NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden political asylum. Venezuela has offered Edward Snowden asylum, to the joy of human rights groups, and the USA is trying to block this despite having a pro-human rights agenda.

Image courtesy of AFP Photo / Leo Ramirez

USA Threatening Venezuela With Political And Economic Sanctions

ABC.es reports that the USA is exerting threats as well as political and economic sanctions in a bid to get Venezuela to revoke Snowden’s asylum, or hand the NSA whistleblower over to the USA if he arrives on American soil. With Snowden seeking temporary asylum within Russia in a bid to help him make the final move to a Latin American nation like Venezuela, the USA is worried that he might make it there and is preparing for the worst. The USA has already revoked the visas of entry to the USA for Venezuelan government officials and businessman associated with the current government in power in Venezuela.

Additionally John Kerry, current American secretary of State, has threatened the Venezuelan foreign minister with a suspending the sale of gasoline to the Latin American country if Snowden is successfully received and processed for asylum. With such a potentially crippling threat it remains to be seen whether Venezuela will choose to uphold their values in favour of accepting Edward Snowden if that results in economic and political damage to Venezuela and its current government.

Image courtesy of abc.net.au

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

Venezuela Ratifies Asylum Decision For Snowden

Venezuela has already confirmed that it has received Edward Snowden’s asylum request and now it has reportedly ratified the asylum request.

El Nuevo Empresario reports that the Venezuelan foreign affairs minister announced the decision to grant Snowden asylum has been fully ratified by the Venezuelan government and relevant authorities in Venezuela. He also clarified that Snowden wrote in his asylum request that he believed he would be persecuted and politically imprisoned or killed if he ever returned to the USA, his homeland.

A TV station yesterday stated that Snowden had already chosen Venezuela as his asylum nation of choice but WikiLeaks denied that stating it was untrue and that Snowden still has other options on the table to contemplate.

Even if Snowden accepts requests in one of his three options so far (Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua) he still has to get safely to those nations without traversing airspace where a valid international U.S issued arrest warrant could force his flight to land, resulting in his arrest and then extradition to the USA.

Venezuela have stated they are still awaiting Edward Snowden’s final decision on whether he will accept the offer.

Image courtesy of Abc.net.au

Venezuela Confirms It Has Received Snowden’s Asylum Request

On the back of Venezuela offering Edward Snowden political asylum Venezuela’s president, pictured above – Nicolas Maduro, has confirmed they received his application on Monday before the deadline. Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega also confirmed that they received a request on Monday too via its Moscow Embassy.

We received a letter requesting asylum…[Snowden] will need to decide when he will fly here”

Venezuela have granted Edward Snowden political asylum on the grounds that if he returned to the USA to face trial he would likely be persecuted, imprisoned for life or even sentenced to death for crimes against the state. Yet most Latin Nations seem to agree that what Snowden has done is not a crime against the state but a favour for humanity and thus he deserves protection.

It will be interesting to see how Edward Snowden can get to Venezuela without being intercepted by international arrest warrants for the countries’ airspace that he needs to fly to, to get to Venezuela.

Image courtesy of abc.net.au

NSA Spied On Countries In Latin America

The NSA has been spying on the whole world, that’s not news to anyone. However, on the back of the USA trying to exert pressure on Latin America to not accept Edward Snowden’s asylum these latest revelations could deal a fatal blow to the USA. O Globo reports that the USA has been spying extensively on Latin America. Countries like Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador (and probably the rest of Latin America) have all been regular spying targets of the NSA.

Apparently the NSA hasn’t limited its spying operations to just military affairs and has also been stealing trade secrets from the Latin American oil industry, notably Venezuela. Latin America was targeted by “PRISM” and “Boundless Informant”. PRISM enables access to emails, chat logs and voice calls through American-based internet companies and Boundless Informant is capable of cataloguing phone calls and internet access.

The USA reportedly used PRISM to collect data regarding oil and military purchases fropm Venezuela and energy and narcotics from Mexico. Other victims of “lower level” spying were Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and El Salvador. No doubt this latest revelation will spur more Latin American countries into offering Edward Snowden asylum. Investigations are already taking in Brazil over the reported intelligence breaches.

Image courtesy of Gringos.com

 

Venezuela Says Asylum Offer For Snowden Has Deadline

Edward Snowden recently received political asylum offers from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia taking his total number of options to three, if you exclude the fact he rejected Russia’s asylum offer. Yet despite this Edward Snowden has to move fast because, according to NBC, Venezuela have given Edward Snowden until the end of today, Monday July 8th, to make up his mind.

“There has not been any type of communication. We are waiting until Monday to know whether he confirms his wish to take asylum in Venezuela,” said the Foreign Minister Elias Jaua on state television

Having been stuck at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport now since June 23rd Edward Snowden has been stuck in political-limbo after the U.S revoked his passport and Russia refused to let him enter the country unless he accepted their conditions for asylum, which he didn’t.

With the offer from Venezuela on the table Snowden would be foolish to say no. Even if he does accept getting to Venezuela could be the hard part as the USA has opted to dump arrest warrants on more or less every nation in the world in an effort to restrict airspace for Edward Snowden’s flight.

Image courtesy of Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela Is Snowden’s Last Chance Says Russia Official

Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Russia Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee, has stated that he believes Venezuela is the last chance of Edward Snowden to avoid extradition to the USA. In a statement made on his Twitter he stated that:

“Venezuela is waiting for a response from Snowden. This is probably his last chance to get political asylum. Otherwise he will get married to Anna Chapman.”

Venezuela is still waiting for a response from Edward Snowden and he has until the end of today, July 8th, to file that response to Venezuela’s authorities.

The “Anna Chapman” alternative that Pushkov speaks of refers to the former Russia spy Anna Chapman. She recently came out to state that she would marry Edward Snowden to get him Russian citizenship and protect him from the USA. However, he cannot get married without a passport or the relevant documents and the consular office at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport lacks the powers to authorise such a marriage. That said Alexei Pushkov was clearly making a joke, but a slightly sour one at that. Let’s hope that Edward Snowden takes Venezuela up on their offer.

Should Snowden choose to reject Venezuela he still does have Bolivia and Nicaragua to choose from.

Image courtesy of the Moscow Times,

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

Nicaragua And Venezuela Offer Edward Snowden Political Asylum

Edward Snowden received a flurry of asylum rejections in the past week as European nations stumbled over themselves to make excuses to protect their interests with the USA despite overwhelming public support for offering Snowden asylum in Europe. Furthermore, as of three days ago Snowden had over 10 rejections from 21 applications. However, Snowden has finally received some offers courtesy of two Latin American nations according to Russia Today.

First up is Nicaragua and just yesterday evening Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega stated that:

“We are open, respectful of the right to asylum, and it is clear that if circumstances permit it, we would receive Snowden with pleasure and give him asylum here in Nicaragua”

Furthermore, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro also pledged to offer Edward Snowden asylum in the spirit of Venezuela’s tradition of fighting “imperial North American prosecution”. Rather fittingly Nicolas Maduro made such a televised speech on Venezuela’s independence day.

“I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American, Edward Snowden, so that in the fatherland of (Simon) Bolivar and (Hugo) Chavez, he can come and live away from the imperial North American persecution”

With two asylum offers from Nicaragua and Venezuela Edward Snowden now has two safe havens to flee from American persecution until things settle down in the USA. We expect that more nations will now follow the same path and offer Edward Snowden asylum. The battle is still not over though as Snowden needs to be able to get from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport to either Venezuela or Nicaragua without crossing airspace of nations that may choose to ground his flight and then extradite him to the USA where he could face an extensive jail term or possibly even the death penalty.

Image courtesy of the Guardian

Pro-NSA Hackers Go After Venezuelan Websites

While many are outraged at the whole NSA data scandal there are also those who have the opposite opinion and believe it is totally justified and in the national interests of the USA. They also believe that Edward Snowden is a criminal and condemn nations offering political asylum to a national criminal. That said these Pro-NSA hackers have been going after the website of the Venezuelan president according to Softpedia in an attempt to show their discontent towards Venezuela’s recent decision to offer Edward Snowden political asylum. The hacker, who goes by the name of “The Jester” (th3j35t3r), has launched an attack against the official website of the Venezuelan Presidency (presidencia.gob.ve).

The attack started at around 03:00am GMT on July 6th and the site has been down since.

“Official presidential site of Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela. For offering #Snowden asylum,” the Jester wrote on Twitter.

Interestingly a few days ago the Jester threatened to go against any country offering Snowden support. His attacks have seen him go after major Ecuadorian websites and a WikiLeaks donation processor.

What do you think about the Jester’s actions? Is he right in supporting the U.S government and the NSA in trying to capture Edward Snowden?

Image courtesy of downforeveryoneorjustme.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

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

Ecuador And Venezuela Unite Against The USA

While the USA is increasing pressure on foreign countries to hand Edward Snowden over to them for criminal trials the rest of the world is standing defiant. Ecuador took their stand against the USA recently by flat-out rejecting a deal for customs privileges with the USA in return for handing over Edward Snowden once he arrives in Ecuador where he is believed to be seeking political asylum.

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has backed the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa and stated that

“You can count on us, President Correa, in everything you may need” according to Itar-Tass.

Furthermore the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa stated yesterday that

“Ecuador will not accept pressures or threats from anyone, and it does not traffic in its values to allow them to be subjugated to mercantile interests” according to El Telegrafo.

And as if that wasn’t rubbing defiance in the face of the USA enough the Latin American presidential duo went as far as to offer yearly funding for human rights training in the USA just to drive their point home that they will not be handing Edward Snowden over any time soon.

This is certainly materialising into one of the biggest changes of the world’s geopolitical power in many years and it is great to see that internet freedom is driving it all.

Image courtesy of Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan President Would Consider Snowden Asylum Request

While Edward Snowden is believed to be seeking political Asylum with the Ecuadorian government, Venezuela’s president has given Edward Snowden another option. Nicolas Maduro has stated that even though Snowden has not made such a request to Venezuela, they would consider it if they received it.

“We haven’t received a formal request for political asylum from Snowden it seems, such a request was made to the president of Ecuador…If such a request is received, we would also consider it since a political asylum is in any way a measure of humanitarian protection” said Nicolas Madura to Itar-Tass.

Furthermore he states that Edward Snowden has surprised the world with his actions and what he has done should improve the lives of many people. He says that Edward Snowden’s actions are important for humanity because no one has the right to spy on other people. Both the president and foreign minister of Ecuador have also issued similar statements with similar sentiments.

Image courtesy of Nicolas Maduro