08/26/13 - The Guardian - Edward Snowden got stuck in Moscow 'after Cuba blocked entry'
The US whistleblower Edward Snowden got stuck in the transit zone of a
Moscow airport because Havana refused to let him fly from Russia to
Cuba, a Russian newspaper has claimed.
Snowden, who is wanted in the US for leaking details of government
surveillance programmes to the Guardian, had planned to fly to Havana from
Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport a day after arriving from Hong Kong on 23
But Snowden, who eventually accepted a year's asylum in Russia after
spending nearly six weeks at Sheremetyevo, did not catch the flight
although he had been allocated a seat.
Citing several sources, including one close to the US state department,
Kommersant newspaper said the reason was that at the last minute the Cuban
authorities had told officials to stop Snowden from boarding the Aeroflot
It said Cuba had changed its mind after pressure by the US, which wants to
try Snowden on espionage charges.
Kommersant also said Snowden had spent a couple of days in the Russian
consulate in Hong Kong, where he declared his intention of flying to Latin
America via Moscow.
"His choice of route and his plea to help were a complete surprise to us.
We did not invite him," Kommersant quoted a Russian state source as saying.
Reuters could not immediately verify the report. Allowing Snowden to land
would have put Cuba's relations with the US at risk.
Ties between the US and Russia were strained when Moscow granted Snowden
asylum. Amid the disagreement over Snowden, the US presidentm, Barack
Obama, postponed a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin,
which was planned for next month.
Original Source / Fuente Original:
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