But then today, EFE News quoted the country’s Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Galo Galarza, Ecuador has not granted Edward Snowden any refugee documents:
“He [Snowden] does not have a document issued by Ecuador, such as a passport or a refugee card, as speculated,” said Galarza, according to Ecuadorian television channel CT.
Turns out that’s not quite true, that they’re being a bit less than transparent.
Here’s the document issued by Ecuador, asking that Snowden be given “safe pass” and every assistance on the way to Ecuador for the purposes of seeking asylum. It was issued by Ecuador’s Counsel in London on June 22.
The pass does NOT mean they have granted him asylum, although it authorizes travel to Ecuador.
As regards the asylum claim, Ecuador has stated they will not act quickly on the matter.
“It took us two months to make a decision in the case of Assange, so do not expect us to make a decision sooner this time,” said Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino. Patino said today that Ecuador would “consider all the risks” of granting Snowden asylum, including the possibility of it damaging relations with the U.S.
For now, Snowden is reportedly still in the transit area of the Moscow airport.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday said Edward Snowden has the right to “fly in any direction” from the transit zone. “We believe that Snowden is a free person. We have no pretensions towards him,” Lavrov told Itar-Tass.
Since he is still in the transit area and has a safe pass from Ecuador, and theoretically could leave, one would think it is the Russians who might still want more discussion with our Mr. Snowden.