Monday, August 26, 2013

Snowden's Cuba problem

Reuters notes a Russian newspaper report that NSA rat-on-the-run Edward Snowden got stuck in Moscow because Cuba denied him permission to enter its territory, even for transit purposes.  The denial reportedly followed U.S. appeals to Cuba (and to many others) not to let him go anywhere but straight back to the United States.

The newspaper report is sourced to someone “close to the State Department,” which is a little loose.  But it’s plausible because once he landed in Moscow, a flight to South America through Cuba was his best option, and something clearly went wrong.

Cuba and the United States cooperate on a number of security issues: drug interdiction, migration, search and rescue at sea, hurricane preparedness, and selected law enforcement matters.  A Cuban gesture such as this, declining to help an enemy of U.S. intelligence agencies, would be quite a different kind of security cooperation.  But stranger things have happened.

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