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Where is Edward Snowden?
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The drama around NSA leaker Edward Snowden continues to intensify as the news come rolling in. First, we hear Snowden has left Hong Kong on an Aeroflot flight ostensibly to pass through Moscow and Cuba to Venezuela.

Then comes in news that Snowden has asked for asylum in Ecuador, as confirmed by a WikiLeaks spokesman.

Then rolls in reports of U.S. asking Russia to hand over Snowden, and officials in Russia claiming no knowledge of Snowden being in Russia, as because where he was staying in Moscow is within an international zone not considered part of the country.

  
What
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Then we hear Snowden was not seen on the flight to Cuba which he had booked and someone else had taken the seat allotted for him. Where is Snowden?

What is Snowden carrying that U.S. authorities and the government is openly criticizing the role and conduct of countries like China and Russia in the matter?

U.S. authorities have announced that they have revoked Snowden’s U.S. passport, and since he does not have a Russian visa, he can’t be legally in Russia.

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Until now, the only thing that is known is that Snowden has not left Moscow’s Sheremeteyevo Airport.

If he does take the route of Cuba, Venezuela to Ecuador, there is little chance of U.S. being able to catch him. Though extradition treaties do exist with Venezuela and Cuba, none of the countries are exactly sympathetic to the U.S. administration.



In fact, earlier this year, the successor to Hugo Chavez, Nicolas Maduro had called Obama the “grand chief of devils.” While the two countries do not exchange ambassadors, Venezuela remains the fourth-largest supplier of crude oil to U.S. and it had sent almost 900,000 barrels of crude to U.S. in 2012. You don’t stop crude due to Snowden.

Russia, on the other hand had previously announced that they were ready to grant asylum to Snowden, if he asked for it. Though, of recent, there had been no comments from Russia on the issue. However, Russia has no extradition treaty with the U.S.

Hong Kong authorities, on the other hand, got rid of the hot coal by asking U.S. for more details, and there was nothing they could do if, during the time the U.S. took to provide details, the person legally left the country on a commercial airline.

Hong Kong authorities have said that Snowden’s departure from Hong Kong was perfectly legal as they had no reason to restrict his activity. On similar notes, Russian authorities have stated that there is no Interpol alert for Snowden, and he has not committed any crime on Russian soil, so they are not competent to arrest him.

The latest news is that Reuters had a correspondent on the plane which was to carry Snowden from Moscow to Cuba, but the correspondent informed that Snowden did not board the plane, and according to a flight attendant, his seat was given to another passenger.



 

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