Snowden can go to hell … on Earth


Get thee to Venezuela, a Russian lawmaker tweeted on Sunday about Edward Snowden. But easier said than done, ABC News pointed out last week.

The U.S. and its allies are likely to deny airspace to a plane carrying the NSA leaker … just as a plane leaving Moscow — full of Latin American officials and suspected of carrying Snowden — was refused permission to fly over France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

A former CIA analyst, Allen Thomson, has kindly mapped out an escape route to Caracas, which avoids “los Yanquis and their running dogs,” he kidded to Foreign Policy.

“Leave Moscow,” he told FP. “Fly north to the Barents Sea, thence over to and through the Denmark Strait. Continue south, steering clear of Newfoundland until getting to the east of the Windward Islands. Fly through some convenient gap between islands and continue on to Caracas.”

Doesn’t sound like a regularly scheduled flight on Delta. ABC said Snowden could take a private plane. Cost? $200,000. That’s $198,735.67 more than the cheapest one-way ticket on Travelocity from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo-2 airport to Caracas.

Meanwhile, Venezuela, the land of “21st Century Socialism,” has not received a formal response to its offer of asylum, Foreign Minister Elias Jaua told Reuters on Thursday.

Maybe Snowden is a fan of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog. Stranded in the transit zone of the Moscow airport, he should have plenty of time to read the Post’s Dylan Matthews, who has crunched the numbers and compares the standard of living Snowden had grown accustomed to in Hawaii with Venezuela. It doesn’t look good:

Per capita GDP

Hawaii: $52,246; Venezuela: $12,767

Life expectancy

Hawaii: 78; Venezuela: 72

Homicide rate

Hawaii: 1.2 per 100,000 residents; Venezuela: 45.1 (that’s not a typo)