(Article changed on July 2, 2013 at 22:27)
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President Rafael Correa changed his tune on considering political asylum for Edward Snowden after speaking to Vice President Biden.
Ecuador is not considering Edward Snowden's asylum request and never intended to facilitate his flight from Hong Kong, president Rafael Correa said as the whistleblower made a personal plea to Quito for his case to be heard.
Snowden was Russia's responsibility and would have to reach Ecuadorean territory before the country would consider any asylum request, the president said in an interview with the Guardian on Monday.
"Are we responsible for getting him to Ecuador? It's not logical. The country that has to give him a safe conduct document is Russia."
I wonder what deal Correa made to abandon the initial offer. It looked like he was preparing to grant asylum having dropped out of a trade pact with the United States in anticipation of problems while he considered asylum or if he granted it..
Four days ago, Ecuador's president was singing another tune. He cancelled a trade pact with the U.S. to avoid blackmail for "considering and asylum request." This didn't sound like the "unintentional mistake Correa referenced about
Ecuador Scraps Trade Pact Over U.S. Threats in Snowden Case
By Nathan Gill - Jun 27, 2013
Ecuador, the South American nation considering an asylum request from fugitive U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, renounced its U.S. trade benefits today, saying they were being used as "blackmail."
"Ecuador doesn't accept pressure or threats from anyone and doesn't barter its principles and sovereignty or submit to mercantile interests," President Rafael Correa said today in a speech in the central province of Los Rios. What Snowden revealed "is a terrible case of massive espionage, both nationally and internationally that clearly threatens the right to intimacy and the sovereignty of states."
Where there's smoke, there's fire, maybe. From the Miami Herald, February 13, we heard:
In case you missed the recent headlines from Ecuador, Correa's cousin Pedro Delgado resigned as head of the Central Bank Dec. 19 after press reports that he had lied about having an economics degree. More importantly, Delgado allegedly used a government agency created by Correa to give loans to government friends for projects that never materialized.
That was only the latest corruption scandal involving Correa's inner circle. The president's own brother, Fabricio Correa, has publicly confirmed that he received huge government contracts -- for as much as $300 million, according to press reports -- from the Correa administration and that the president was aware of such transactions.