Cuba Backs Asylum for Snowden, Brazil Challenges US on Espionage

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Snowden
Snowden

The international political backlash against the United States spying program has reached yet another nation, thanks in part to fugitive American intelligence analyst,  Edward Snowden.

According to the BBC, “Brazil has requested clarifications from the U.S. government about reports that its intelligence agencies monitored millions of emails and phone calls from Brazilian citizens.

The allegations were published by O Globo newspaper.

They were based on documents disclosed by Snowden.

Brazil received the reports “with deep concern,” Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota in a statement.

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff called several cabinet ministers to a meeting on Sunday to discuss the issue, following the publication of the newspaper articles on Saturday.”

The Bigger Picture

While most reporting on the U.S. spy program aimed at average citizens from around the world has been focused on American citizens and their rights, it is important to note that all people have a right to privacy that should be honored and upheld by all regardless of their nationality.

In the British newspaper, The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald does a good job in explaining the merits of this point.

“Contrary to what some want to suggest, the privacy rights of Americans aren’t the only ones that matter. That the U.S. government – in complete secrecy – is constructing a ubiquitous spying apparatus aimed not only at its own citizens, but all of the world’s citizens, has profound consequences.

“It erodes, if not eliminates, the ability to use the Internet with any remnant of privacy or personal security. It vests the U.S. government with boundless power over those to whom it has no accountability. It permits allies of the U.S. – including aggressively oppressive ones – to benefit from indiscriminate spying on their citizens’ communications. It radically alters the balance of power between the U.S. and ordinary citizens of the world. And it sends an unmistakable signal to the world that while the U.S. very minimally values the privacy rights of Americans, it assigns zero value to the privacy of everyone else on the planet.”

Cuba Chimes In
According to the Havana Times, Cuban President Raul Castro expressed his support for Venezuela and other Latin American countries in their “sovereign right” to offer asylum to Snowden.

“On Friday, President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela said they were willing to grant asylum to Snowden.

“We have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the American Edward Snowden to protect him from the persecution being unleashed by the world’s most powerful empire,” Maduro said at the start of a military parade in the Venezuelan capital celebrating the 202nd anniversary of the South American country’s declaration of independence.” – USA Today

The Venezuelan president and his Nicaraguan counterpart made asylum offers to Snowden, shortly after they met to denounce the diversion of Bolivian president, Evo Morales plane over suspicions that Snowden might have been on board.

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