U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called the President of Ecuador on Friday to convince him to reject Edward Snowden’s bid for asylum, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa told the Journal the high-level talks had taken place over Snowden, a former NSA contractor who leaked a treasure trove of secrets to the Washington Post and Guardian newspapers in recent weeks.
The White House would not reveal details of the call, but Correa indicated he would make no decision on Snowden’s fate until he made his way to the country, or to an Ecuadorean embassy.
Correa is one of the most vocal critics of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. “Ecuador clearly has some kind of history of sticking their finger in the eye of the United States on security issues,” Andrew Kent, a Fordham Law School professor, told NBC News.
Snowden, whose U.S. passport has been revoked, is believed to still be in the “transit zone” of the Moscow airport in Russia. He faces serious challenges with any possible travel to Ecuador — including the absence of direct flights to the country from Moscow, and his lack of a passport or temporary travel papers.
Although Snowden’s options are limited, he did receive support Wednesday from the President of Venezuela, who has said he would likely grant him asylum if “he asked us for it.”
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