US Vice President Joe Biden has requested that Ecuador reject Edward Snowden’s request for asylum.
Biden’s request was revealed by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. During his weekly broadcast, Correa revealed that Snowden has not yet arrived in the country. He also revealed that Ecuador would make a decision regarding Snowden’s sovereignty based on US input and various other factors.
Deputy director of the US National Security Agency, Ben Rhodes, confirmed that Joe Biden spoke with Correa. Rhodes refused to release anymore details about the conversation.
Speaking by phone on Friday, Correa told Joe Biden “what was the Ecuadorian position” and that Ecuador “can’t even proceed with the request because Mr. Snowden is not in Ecuadorian territory.”
Country officials will not decide on Edward Snowden’s asylum request until he is on sovereign soil.
According to Correa:
“We have to act very carefully but with courage, without contradicting our principles but with a lot of care, responsibility and respect of course towards the U.S. but also respect for the truth.”
Correa admits that he does not want “to harm his country” but is “not going to give up on the principles and the sovereignty” of Ecuador.
Further, the Ecuadorian president adds:
“We need to be very realistic. We use the U.S. currency. We are extremely vulnerable. We shouldn’t make any false assumptions.”
If extradited to the United States, Edward Snowden would face various charges including espionage for leaking top secret NSA documents.
Correa says, just as his country did with granting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum, it will once again consult with the United States.
While officials in Ecuador are seriously considering Edward Snowden’s asylum request, they have not issued diplomatic travel documents as they did for Julian Assange.
Do you think Joe Biden’s request to deny Edward Snowden asylum in Ecuador will fall on deaf ears?