Venezuela not as safe a haven as Snowden’s team may think

Yesterday, someone using a computer well protected against cookies and snooping dropped in a few times to read my prior posts on Venezuela protecting fugitives from US justice:

Venezuelan intelligence defends Derwick Associates from the deadly peril of journalism

Venezuela protects guy who allegedly ripped off Citgo

Now I wake up to find that Ed Snowden, fugitive from US justice, may be on his way to the Bolivarian Republic. I really hope that his team isn’t hoping that he will receive the same treatment in Venezuela as that received by the nice people at Derwick Associates, who were accused in the press of overcharging the Venezuelan government, and by Guillermo Clamens, accused in the US of having stolen millions of dollars from Citgo.

These were not political cases. In both cases, we have people who are accused in some way of stealing from the Venezuelan state, who end up protected by the Venezuelan state. Without getting into too much detail, let’s just say that there are reasonable claims that Clamens shared his take with bigwigs in PDVSA, and that Derwick has close ties to Energy Minister Rafael Ram√≠rez via a consultant and former PDVSA executive who is now close to Derwick. In short, these people, if they are being protected, are quite likely paying for the protection. (And no, I don’t have proof that they are either being protected or paying anyone off.)

Does Snowden have anything to offer these mercenaries? The only reason Venezuela might care about US intel programs is to implement same.

Do Snowden’s lawyers think Venezuela is being governed by anti-US ideologues? If so, he could be in for a rough surprise. Venezuela cooperates with the US on law enforcement when it’s in the local interest. This case may be worth recalling:

Extradition of Fugitive Oscar Martinez-Hernandez from Venezuela

And even if Venezuela does grant Snowden political refugee status, great, how does he protect himself physically? There are few places where it is easier to get someone killed. I knew an ex-military US citizen in Venezuela who had to fight off a home invasion with bullets. Not sure Snowden has those chops.

But most of all for a long-time internet junkie, Venezuela has the worst internet I’ve used outside of Cuba. The mountains of Peru have quicker internet.

Anyway, all this is probably irrelevant. Here’s a photo supposedly showing a Ecuadorian embassy car at the Moscow airport. Ah, old-school intrigue. Love it.

1 thought on “Venezuela not as safe a haven as Snowden’s team may think

  1. Cort Greene


    Just in case you have not heard its Ecuador, that has the formal request for asylum . He is in Moscow after leaving Hong Kong, the US says it pulled his passport on Saturday and asking everyone for extradition. He was picked up at the airport by Ecuador and may be spending the night in the Venezuelan embassy. Then he is supposed to take a flight from Russia( confirmed by AERFLOT) to Cuba and land in Venezuela. I guess that new era of relations that State Dept. thought it had with Venezuela may go down the tubes.(YEA, it was a mistake in foreign policy to trust the US in the first place). Updates will follow for sure.

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