Edward Snowden Asylum in Venezuela: Why South American Country Is Ideal Haven For NSA Leaker [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on July 10, 2013 11:42 AM EDT

Edward Snowden asylum
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will likely find asylum in Venezuela, according to Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald. (Photo: Reuters)

Where will Edward Snowden seek asylum? According to Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, the former NSA contractor that leaked top secret U.S. intelligence will most liking choose Venezuela for political asylum. Nicaragua and Bolivia are the other two nations that extended Snowden an invitation of asylum.

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"Venezuela seems to be the most plausible choice," Greenwald told CBS Radio News on Tuesday. "They are the ones best equipped to, I think, get him from Moscow to Latin America safely, and then to protect him once he's there."

Venezuela foreign minister Elias Jaua and President Nicolas Maduro have formally announced that Edward Snowden will find humanitarian protection in their South American nation.

"Even if we wanted to, and we don't, we wouldn't extradite him, nor should we because it is not legal nor ethical," assured Jaua.

However, the challenge lies in securing escorting Edward Snowden from Moscow to Caracas. The logistics involved in the mission can take weeks.

The United States of America is determined to get Edward Snowden back on U.S. soil. If caught, Edward Snowden will face federal criminal charges, including espionage. If Snowden seeks passage to Venezuela, a commercial ticket to Latin America will be out of the question.

"It's probably impossible for him to fly on a commercial flight because any commercial flight would have to enter the airspace of the United States," said Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, "and I think it's pretty clear that the Obama administration, contrary to what the president said, would be willing to deploy fighter jets to prevent that plane from exiting American airspace and would force it to land."

A private aircraft will be the ideal method of escort for Snowden.

Beyond Venezuela's ability to provide Snowden with adequate protection, Greenwald believes the nation is a good fit for Snowden as a new home.

"It's an extremely diverse and civilized population that has all sorts of different facets of society, so I think he would be free," said Greenwald. "He would be able to participate in the debate that he helped to provoke worldwide about surveillance. He of course would miss his family and the like, but they could visit him there, and so I think he would be perfectly happy."

Finally, the Guardian columnist reflects on Snowden's character, admiring his courage and his unwavering beliefs.

"It's remarkable that he still has this calmness, this equanimity to him, even given the last two weeks of what would almost drive a lot of other people crazy in not knowing his fate," reflected Greenwald. "He still understands that the choice he made is risky, but he believes it's the right one and so feels principally good about it."

Edward Snowden was a former technical contractor that worked for the United States NSA and CIA. In spring 2013, Snowden reached out to London's The Guardian paper and exposed several top-secret U.S. and British government mass surveillance programs in an effort to "inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."

Edward Snowden insists that he never sold or gave any of the leaked information to Chinese or Russian governments.

To learn more about Edward Snowden and the NSA leak, be sure to watch the Guardian interview below:

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