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:
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 Ramírez 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:
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.
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.