Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Snowden and Latin Americans

Stephen Kinzer, who has written some really interesting stuff on Latin America, goes off the deep end here. He argues that Latin American people love Edward Snowden so much that they will protect him.

In fact, not just a handful of leaders but huge populations in Latin America have decided that they wish for more independence from Washington. 
This is vital for Snowden because it reduces the chances that a sudden change of government could mean his extradition. If he can make it to Latin America, he will never lack for friends or supporters.
I'm not so sure this is true, or at the very least we (and certainly Snowden!) should not assume it to be true. It is hard for me to imagine that more than a tiny handful of people truly care about Snowden. If he goes to Ecuador, and at some point a conservative candidate wins the presidency, he or she will certainly calculate what extraditing him might get in return from the United States. Indeed, Anya Landau French hypothesizes that Cuba told Snowden not to stop there. For any president, Snowden is mostly just a piece of a strategic puzzle, and extradition would not be too politically costly at home.

Then things get flowery.

From Ecuador, Snowden could travel widely. Everything from the splendor of Bolivia's Lake Titicaca to the vibrancy of teeming Caracas awaits him. With luck, he might even be able to visit Guatemala in September to attend the grand festival being planned for the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jacobo Arbenz, the reformist president who the United States deposed in 1954.

I also cannot see Otto Pérez Molina embracing Snowden and resisting U.S. pressure to detain him. Snowden means nothing to Guatemala. And I know that Kinzer wrote about Arbenz, but come on. Guatemala--along with all of Latin America--means nothing to Snowden. If he ever gets to Ecuador, he will probably be too terrified and prudent to start traveling around.


Quico 2:59 PM  

"the vibrancy of teeming Caracas..."


Justin Delacour 8:04 PM  

"For any president, Snowden is mostly just a piece of a strategic puzzle, and extradition would not be too politically costly at home."

I'm not too sure about that. Most Latin American presidents wouldn't want Snowden in their territory because of the problems that that would pose for them, but most wouldn't find it politically convenient to appear as stooges of the United States either. They would be more likely to simply discourage him from entering their territory. To be the president who extradites the guy to the United States wouldn't be an envious distinction in Latin America, though.

Vicente Duque 6:43 AM  

Latin America is in a process of big degradation - Communists use their base in dictatorships of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador to create havoc in the more democratic nations - This is helped by the "useful idiots" everywhere

There are too many dictators in Latin America and too many leftist extremists, helped in Internet by Crazy Europeans that write in Spanish or languages that are easily understood by Latin Americans like English, Portuguese, French and Italian.

The Victim of Choice :

There is a constant attack against the weak government of President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, that has made the great mistake of going into a disastrous "Peace Process" with the FARC Narco Terrorists.

Colombia is surrounded by hostile nations ( except Panama and I have many doubts about Brazil ) : Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador ( in order of danger ! )

The President is being saddled and mounted by the FARC murderers of Children with land bombs and other terrorist bombs

But he has done two good things : to sign a "Defense and Cooperation Pact" with NATO ( North Atlantic Treaty Organization ) in Brussels and to receive Henrique Capriles, leader of the opposition in Venezuela

And Colombian planes have flown in air formation with the US Air Force in "Red Flag" operation, over Texas and Nevada, May and June 2012

And with the Canadian planes in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada during May and June of 2013

Who is going to defend Panama and its Canal ??, surrounded by brutal pro-communist or communistoid dictatorships ??.

Vicente Duque

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