Why Edward Snowden Is Looking to Ecuador for Asylum

An outdoor screen in Hong Kong shows an Edward Snowden interview. An outdoor screen in Hong Kong shows an Edward Snowden interview. Vincent Yu/AP

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden fled Hong Kong for Russia this weekendand is ultimately seeking asylum in Ecuador, despite the U.S.'s revoking his passport in an effort to prevent his escape.

Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patiño Aroca tweeted Sunday that the country had received Snowden's request for asylum, and WikiLeaks also said in a statement that Snowden was "bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum."

Snowden's precise final destination is still in flux -- one source told a Russian news agency that he's actually headed for Caracas, Venezuala -- but both Latin American countries would be logical options for the fugitive government contractor. Venezuela's anti-American tendencies are well established, and current president Nicolas Maduro emulates his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, in nearly every way. But Ecuador, too, has emerged as an unexpected refuge for renegades who spill U.S. secrets.

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