wikileaks

John Paul Rathbone

Edward Snowden is fast becoming a hot potato nobody wants to handle. Russia does not want him – so he can’t leave the legally-grey area of the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on foot. He could fly away – that is Putin’s preferred solution and, indeed, it seems that he now has travel papers, after Ecuador granted him a “safe pass” for temporary travel, according to images of travel documents posted by Spanish language Univision late on Wednesday.

But Snowden’s flight path to the apparent safety of possible political asylum in another country, such as Venezuela (which has offered the possibility) or Ecuador (which has said it would consider it), is blocked by a problem. All commercial flights between Moscow and Quito or Caracas touch down in third countries with which the US has extradition agreements. And that includes Cuba. 

 

John Paul Rathbone

The polite grace period that Rafael Correa extended to Britain during the Olympics is sadly over. This week, a decision is due from Ecuador’s president on whether he will grant asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. A “yes” is expected. But what then? JP Rathbone considers the possibilities.