In another revelation of National Security Agency's controversial activities, the American intelligence community targeted many Latin American countries as well. The news comes at a time when whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked the NSA's controversial surveillance programs, appeared "likely" to pick a Latin American country for asylum.
Among the countries that NSA targeted were - Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico, reported Brazilian newspaper O Globo citing Snowden's documents. The paper said that the "commercial secrets" including petroleum in Venezuela and energy in Mexico were targeted. Other countries that were under the scanner of what the newspaper described as "US spying" were Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and El Salvador, Reuters reported citing O Globo.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Snowdon who is wanted in America on espionage charges and who was responsible for leaking a series of controversial surveillance and spying activities by the NSA would most likely pick Venezuela for safe haven. It has become increasingly difficult for him to get out of a legal "limbo" after his passport was annulled by the US before he arrived in Moscow - leading him to be holed up in the transit area of Moscow's airport.
Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian's journalist who first published Snowden's leaked documents, said that at a time when the US is increasingly pressurising other nations not to entertain his bids, Venezuela is the "most likely" among many Latin American countries that would be able to help him get safe passage. This comes as Nicaragua and Bolivia, the countries that include in the list of Latin American nations opposed to American foreign policies, have also offered to take Snowden even when it is unclear how the fugitive would travel to his final destination.
"Figuring out how to get to the country that has offered him asylum without the rogue or lawless empire that has proven itself willing to engage in rogue behaviour to prevent him physically from getting there, being able to stop him. That is the challenge," Greenwald said in an interview with Al Jazeera.
While Brazil asked US for an explanation for its alleged spying activities on Brazilian companies and individuals, the event comes on the heels of another round of criticism from European nations after it was known that American intelligence had spied on the offices of European Union. The latest spate of revelations that disclose US' spying on South America only build up the rift between Washington and Latin American nations. The relations among the two continents have long been sour due to the US' foreign policies that have always been termed as "imperialist".
If not for anything else, the disclosures build up to the anti-American sentiments among countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Nicaragua and many others, while granting an edge to the American fugitive who is direly in need of reasons to enter a country which will grant him safety from the USFollow the writer in Twitter: https://twitter.com/sahaja_gopi