William Blum: Snowden Would Be Better Off in Cuba, Less Chance of a Coup D’état

with William Blum
Writer, Dandelion Salad
June 26, 2013

PRISM-Demo der Piratenpartei zum Besuch des amerikansichen Präsidenten Barack Obama

Image by ubiquit23 via Flickr

Voice of Russia
June 24, 2013

Speaking about the latest Edward Snowden’s travel ‘plans’ and the confusion the world has been exposed to in the media on the subject of his whereabouts, Mr. William Blum, an American author, historian and a longstanding critic of US foreign policy claims that Cuba would be Snowden’s best bet, as it’s “the most guaranteed place not to buckle to any kind of American pressure” and “the chance of coup d’état is much less than elsewhere”. He also thinks the American whistleblower allegedly chose Ecuador “because of their record with Julian Assange” and says the Russians are purposefully making the confusion in the media to make it difficult for the CIA to capture or assassinate NSA leaker.

Robles: I’d really like to get your opinion on the whole Snowden affair, since this is something I think you are pretty close to, as far as the whistleblowing. What do you make of the whole situation? And what do you think his chances are of making it to Ecuador, and why Ecuador?

Blum: This is a very brave man. I hope he makes it somewhere. I think that Cuba would be his best bet, as it is the most guaranteed place not to buckle to any kind of American pressure. Where is he now, I have no idea. I think all the confusion that we’ve been exposed to in the media is not by chance. I think the Russians are purposely doing this to make it difficult for the CIA to capture or assassinate Snowden, which in fact they would love to do. This is all I know about it.

Robles: You know a lot about the South American countries, Latin American countries and the instability in a lot of those countries. Why would he go to Ecuador, I mean it is a small country? I’m sure the knowledge he has, I don’t see what real huge use it would have to Ecuadorian intelligence.

Blum: His knowledge concerning who was being spied upon by the U.S. Government honestly would not be of much value to any foreign nation. I don’t think that’s the issue.

I think he chose Ecuador because of their record with Julian Assange. They have proven themselves to be capable protectors of someone like him. And so, that’s probably the only reason he chose Ecuador. Of course, President Correa is a leftist and the people under him in high positions are also leftist, so that’s a protection.

Robles: Latin American countries can be very volatile. What if Correa is voted out of office next time and some right-wing president comes in?

Blum: Correa was re-elected as president within the past six months I think.

Robles: Yes, he was.

Blum: So, he stays for a few years. Although, I would not shut out the CIA instigating a coup. They tried in the past to do the same. But now they may be more serious about it. They could certainly pour their heart and soul into it, and use all the assets and all their wealth, and their wealth is their main asset and they can buy almost anything and anyone. So, that’s the reason I think Snowden would be better off in Cuba, the chance of coup d’état is much less than elsewhere.

Robles: Yes, sure, I mean they’ve been trying to assassinate Castro… what was it?

Blum: Yes they’ve been trying to assassinate Castro 600 times or so, but haven’t succeeded.

Robles: Why didn’t he stay in Russia, I mean there is a very little chance that Russia would buckle the U.S.?

Blum: Russia does not want to have all these headaches that might cause. And keep in mind, this is not quite the Cold War. Russia is not a Communist country, it is not at war ideologically with the US. It is at war on a different level. The US has surrounded Russia with military bases. It’s incorporated many of the former Soviet republics into the NATO and all of them are not far from Russia.

So, the US is really threatening Russia and Russia has a reason to be hostile towards the U.S., not as much as it has been in the Cold War, but enough. They could have kept Snowden there. I don’t know. He may even still be there, as far as we know he’s still there.

Robles: I think if Russia made a decision to give him an asylum, and the Russian officials have said he would have been granted it had the he requested it, I’m sure Russia would be much more in a position to protect him. It is not that easy for the CIA to operate here and manipulate the politicians and everything, as I think it is in many Latin American countries. And the same thing is for China. First, I thought maybe he went from Hong Kong to mainland China, but, apparently not.

Blum: The point is that I don’t know what’s going to happen. He could wind up in Russia or in Ecuador, or Cuba, or Venezuela. But he is not going to wind up in California, I’m sure of that.

Robles: What do you think the CIA or and NSA is going to try to do to get him back? How far do think they are going to go?

Blum: Physically get him back?

Robles: Or get rid of him.

Blum: It depends on how many opportunities they have. The Russians and the other countries we’ve mentioned have to be super careful to avoid giving the CIA any special opportunity, which probably is why we have all this confusion. This is a some kind of master plan.

Robles: Once he gets to Ecuador, if that’s where he’s going, what do you think is going to happen?

Blum: It is hard to imagine him living a peaceful life there. He will always be looking over his shoulder. The CIA can have 1000 assassins induced with a large reward. So, I can’t see him having a peaceful and stable life there. But he must have sorted out all this in advance, I hope he has a master plan.

Robles: Well, I think he was very clever in getting out of their clutches and getting to Hong Kong. That was actually a pretty wise move, because he was able to get there without a visa or anything. So, I guess he fell off the grid for a while. What’s your opinion of the revelations that he’s made? And how do you see his case in contrast to an average espionage case?

Blum: Compared to the WikiLeaks, it is not quite as dramatic as WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks exposed all kinds of very-very embarrassing things concerning the US foreign policy. The Snowden’s revelations, it is just one big embarrassment, it is not 100 different small embarrassments. It is just the embarrassment that they were spying even more than most people thought. I’ve seen many people who assumed that the NSA was covering everyone, those people would not be surprised. To me, it was not quite as embarrassing to the US foreign policy as the WikiLeaks revelations were.

Robles: To the world’s public though, I mean I have always had this suspicion and I think you had, and any thinking person on the Internet has had this suspicion that they are being watched or something. But this is right in our face now – we are all being watched, we are all being spied on, they are into absolutely everything. Do you personally feel uncomfortable getting online anymore? What effect do you think this is going to have on the Internet?

Blum: I was always careful about what I said online and emails. That’s not going to change… well, it brings more cautiousness than usual, but not much. So, to me it is not going to be a big change.

h/t: Stop NATO

William Blum was the author of: America’s Deadliest Export – Democracy: The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else; Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2; Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower; West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir; and Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire.

From the archives:

Chris Hedges: Americans Have No Privacy Left, No Capacity To Communicate Without Govt Watching

US Rulers Fear American People by Finian Cunningham

Jonathan Landay: Insider Threat: Government Employees Urged to Tattle On Coworkers In Effort to Stop Classified Leaks

Sibel Edmonds Blows the Whistle on Government Blackmailing + Russ Tice Reveals the Truth About NSA Spying

Julian Assange: Snowden, Manning Victims Of Obama’s War On Whistleblowers + Glenn Greenwald: Where is Edward Snowden? + Assange on the Bradley Manning Trial

William Blum: CIA Has Attempted To Assassinate 50 World Leaders, Including Chavez

638 Ways To Kill Castro (video)