Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013 12:00 am
BOGOTA, Colombia The three Latin American countries said to be helping Edward Snowden flee from American authorities are united in their opposition to the Obama administration and pursue foreign policy objectives designed to counter U.S. influence.
As Snowden, the intelligence contractor who disclosed documents about U.S. surveillance programs, arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on Sunday, Russian media reported that he was booked on a flight to the Cuban capital of Havana, and from there on to Caracas, Venezuela.
The Interfax news agency also quoted an unidentified Russian security source in Moscow as saying that Snowden wasn’t on the plane.
The airline said earlier Snowden registered for the flight using his U.S. passport, which American officials say has been annulled.
After spending a night in Moscow’s airport, the former National Security Agency contractor — and admitted leaker of state secrets — had been expected to fly to Cuba and Venezuela en route to possible asylum in Ecuador.
WASHINGTON – The bizarre journey of Edward Snowden is far from over. After spending a night in Moscow‘s airport, the former National Security Agency contractor and admitted leaker of U.S. state secrets was expected to fly to Cuba and Venezuela en route to possible asylum in Ecuador.
But the U.S. says Moscow should hand Snowden over to Washington.
Several Russian news agencies were saying early Monday that Snowden had checked in for a flight to Havana.
Snowden, also a former CIA technician, fled Hong Kong on Sunday to dodge U.S. efforts to extradite him on espionage charges. Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, said his government had received an asylum request. He added Monday that Ecuador’s decision about the request involves “freedom of expression and … the security of citizens around the world.” He did not say how long it would take Ecuador to decide.
The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks has said it would help Snowden.
Snowden was on a flight from Hong Kong that arrived in Moscow Sunday and was booked on a flight to Cuba Monday, the Russian news agencies ITAR-Tass and Interfax reported, citing unnamed airline officials.
Patino said, “We know that he’s currently in Moscow, and we are … in touch with the highest authorities of Russia.”