Sunday, July 07, 2013

2 Independence Days

The US government has celebrated US independence the past few days by coercing its European satellites to interfere with President Evo Morales's flight home to Bolivia because it wanted to make sure that Edward Snowden didn't get away on his plane.

I'm kind of an old guy, so I remember when the US used to grant asylum to people like Snowden escaping from the Soviet empire, and it was the Soviet Union and its satellites that tried to make sure they didn't get away.  In fact, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novel about Stalin's gulag, "The First Circle," features the arrest of someone like Snowden.  I remember passing through Czechoslovakia with my parents when my father was the US ambassador to Guinea, back in 1962 when the old Stalinist Novotny was in charge.

They took care to assign us to a particular room in the hotel, the one that was bugged, and I sought in vain to find one of them.

Now it's the United States that is bugging the world and pursuing anybody that reveals the secrets of the regime.  Things have changed since I was the US ambassador's kid.

Venezuela celebrated its independence day, July 5, more appropriately by offering Snowden political asylum.  Lots of people in South and Central America are pretty offended by the US having had its puppets in Europe force down the Bolivian president's plane, so it's all of a sudden a lot easier for folks to offer Snowden asylum.  Nicaragua, and of course Bolivia, have also now done so.  Forcing down Morales's plane was not such a clever caper, turns out. 

Snowden is still stuck in the transit lounge at Sheremetyevo International Airport.  I wonder how long he'll be trapped there, like Cardinal Mindszenty, who was holed up in the US embassy in Budapest for 15 years after escaping from his life sentence for treason in 1956.  Snowden has done a lot for all of us, at great risk to himself revealing our imperial rulers for what they are.  May he find mercy and prosper on that account.


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